Press Release: Live Event and Closed Circuit Tickets For Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

I’ll have more info of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao later but wanted to pass the press release along for the time being.

Closed Circuit Locations Available at all MGM Resorts International Properties Along The Strip

LAS VEGAS (April 22, 2015) – Tickets for the highly anticipated world championship showdown between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao taking place Saturday, May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena will be available tomorrow for both in-arena and closed circuit viewing.

Tickets for the live event priced at $7,500, $5,000, $3,500, $2,500 and $1,500, not including applicable service charges, go on sale Thursday, April 23 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. Tickets are limited to four (4) per household. To charge by phone or with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

The closed circuit telecast will be available at all MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas. General admission tickets for closed circuit viewing will be $150, not including handling fees, and will go on sale Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Tickets will be available for purchase at the individual property’s box office outlets, by phone with a major credit card at (866) 799-7711 or through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000. Closed circuit tickets are limited to eight (8) per household.

Best Sportsbooks In Las Vegas (2012)

Earlier this year Forbes put together a list of the best sportsbooks in Las Vegas. I speculated that it may have paid for by MGM Resorts, by their numerous sportsbooks on the list. Between that list and talking about my favorite sportsbooks in Las Vegas on the Betting Dork podcast I wanted to come up with a list of my own.

If you follow my writing on Vegas Chatter, you already know some of the list. Here are my best sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

  1. Lagasse’s Stadium (Palazzo) – By far my favorite sportsbook in Las Vegas. Besides being a sportsbook where you can place bets and watch games, it’s a restaurant with decent enough food and waitress service. There is a lot of seating options as well as a patio with couches and a pool table. Lagasse’s Stadium also has it’s own little casino (blackjack, etc) if the games get boring. Take a look at a review I did after my first visit, so I can stop gushing.
  2. Red Rock Casino – I’m biased because this is my home casino. Distance aside, this sportsbook is one of my favorites for a few reasons. The Red Rock sportsbook is one of the larger sportsbooks in Las Vegas. It has 2 giant TV screens with ample auxiliary screens. There are about 16 lounge chairs to relax in and desk style seating for hundreds. The vibe here is always good, but it’s great during football season and perfectly relaxing during baseball season. Also, drink tickets are given and drinks are cheap after you run out of freebies. The only negative here is that it’s about 25 minutes off the strip.
  3. Venetian – The Venetian sportsbook is newly remodeled and that gives it the newest HD screens in Vegas. Besides having new crisp picture, the screens are huge. The lighting is also designed to enhance the viewing. While Cantor Gaming produces a very sterile, cold, not very comfortable (the seating feels like sitting at a work station) environment to watch games it’s impossible to dismiss how great the games look here. Cocktail service is slow and there are no drink tickets, but the screens here are beautiful.
  4. Mandalay Bay – I’ve spent quite a few Sundays watching football at the Mandalay Bay sportsbook. It’s nice sized with plenty of decent sized TV’s. There are desks and chairs for a couple hundred people. There’s also seating at the bar where you’ll have to buy drinks, but this seating is more comfortable. Even better is that just sitting at the bar playing video poker you can get free drinks. This is one of the few sportsbooks in Las Vegas that I’ve seen show boxing. The crowd is great and has a great draw for soccer if that’s your cup of tea.
  5. Mirage, Bellagio and Caesars Palace – Older sportsbooks that could use a freshening up with their TV screens and seating.
  6. Aria and MGM Grand – Aria is a newer casino and MGM Grand is recently remodeled. Both have nice screens, but aren’t very big.

That covers just about every sportsbook that matters to me in Las Vegas. There’s one glaring omission, which I’ll discuss separately when I get into the most overrated sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

 

UFC #1!

I don’t like MMA or UFC and I didn’t watch UFC on Fox this weekend, but I follow a lot of people that do on twitter. Many are boxing writers who also cover MMA. Writers and normal people alike were commenting that the UFC fight on Fox lasted only a minute. Meanwhile, I was waiting for the Manny Pacquiao fight to begin while I was watching the Oregon destroy Stanford in football. Anyway, I don’t know many people from back east that care for MMA, but since I moved to Vegas I realized that there is a lot of pride in the MMA thing.

UFC is partially owned by the Ferritas brothers who also own Station Casinos. UFC came to prominence in Las Vegas before the rest of the world began catching on. People here treat UFC like their little brother that they helped build up. Like with just about everything in Las Vegas, the locals are very protective of their little brother. However, it may be time where big brother has grown up and entered the real world. Michelle Steele (that can’t be a real last name) from Bloomberg News reported that almost 6 million people watched UFC on Fox. I don’t know the TV world, so I asked if that was good and evidently it is good. Very good.

Meanwhile, if 1 million people watched the Manny Pacquiao fight, that would be considered good. I will always have a soft spot for boxing and don’t see myself ever getting MMA, but there’s a connection that UFC has been making for years with fans that cannot be denied as the UFC has grown from a $2 million business to $2 BILLION business in 10 years. Not bad.

New Jersey Votes To Approve Sports Betting…Now What?

Yesterday, New Jersey voters approved a referendum that would allow sports betting in the state if a federal ban on sports betting is lifted.

But first, a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states would have to be lifted by Congress or overturned by the courts for New Jersey to offer wagering on professional and college teams.

It’s smart that New Jersey is allowing sports betting to take place at racetracks, because who would bother driving to Atlantic City to make a $50 wager on a game from northern New Jersey or New York or Pennsylvania. Perhaps this will lead the way to New Jersey having racinos at those same racetracks in the future. But what’s next?

  1. After the federal ban is lifted (which is rumored to be done already) casinos will have to undergo a major transformation.
  2. Atlantic City casinos will have to buy DirecTV or some kind of satellite system to show the games that people can bet on. Currently, casinos mostly show basic cable and local sports. It’s pretty much BS that I could never watch a Jets game in Atlantic City. This will not be acceptable if they begin to take wagers on all sports.
  3. Atlantic City casinos will have to figure out which boxing or MMA matches they can show, if any. Currently Pay Per View events are controlled by the casinos hosting the events and usually only shown on their properties. Will Caesars get back into hostin boxing matches since they own four eleven Atlantic City casinos?
  4. Sports and racebooks will have to be expanded to show more than just horse racing and to be able to facilitate more bettors and viewers.
Studies show that there will be a boatload of money earned from sports betting for the casinos to make these changes (and more).
Citing a University of Pennsylvania study conducted last year, Pascrell (a lobbyist who is working with Raymond Lesniak on the sports betting campaign.) also said sports betting is expected to generate more than $10 billion in annual wagering. New Jersey would get an 8 percent cut of the betting action through the state’s gross wagering tax.
Again, this is all just in the early stages and quite frankly I don’t believe these numbers are real but we’ll have to see. For more information on the approval of sports betting in New Jersey take a look at the Press of Atlantic City and Covers.com.

Floyd Mayweather Is Smarter Than You

Deal with it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is smarter than you. He has made himself into the villain of the boxing world. Nobody likes him. I don’t like him, but I think he (and/or his team) are way smarter than most people will give them credit for.

Let me start by saying Mayweather is a great defensive fighter. Unfortunately, that makes for boring fights. Besides the hurting he put on Ricky Hatton, his fights for the past 5 years or so have been boring. This weekend, he had one of his most exciting fights in years. It was also one of his most viewed fights.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made himself into the only bad guy in boxing. Nobody likes him and everybody that remotely pays attention to boxing wants him to lose. He’s polarizing that way. His fights register about 5-7 times more viewers than most big HBO or Showtime fights. The majority of people who watch his fights, only watch boxing to see him lose. They’ll also tune in to see Manny Pacquiao win (more on him later).

Set up for this fight with Victor Ortiz wasn’t much more different from most major fights with a press tour and 24/7 on HBO. The one thing that has really been different is that Mayweather seems to have turned up the jerk meter. He even had a spat with his father on 24/7 to help promote the fight.

All of the hate towards Mayweather, took attention away from Victor Ortiz. Ortiz is not a good boxer and his heart to box has been questioned after he quit a few a couple years ago. This fight was set up to be a n0-brainer win for Mayweather but the promotion of Ortiz as the good guy and Mayweather as the bad guy incited people to pay for the fight.

Besides Manny Pacquiao there isn’t a fight I’d pay to see with Floyd Mayweather. Generally, he’s not fun to watch – except last night when he became, in my eyes, the good bad guy. After being dominated for 3 rounds Victor Ortiz head butted Mayweather on purpose which led to a point being deducted from the score cards. After the deduction Ortiz  went to apologize to Mayweather twice. On the second apology, Floyd just punched Ortiz hard. Twice. Knocking him out.

While Mayweather didn’t break any rules reaction on twitter was like he killed a dog. Mayweather may have done something unsportsmanlike, but he’s fighting. How many times does the dude need to apologize. Ultimately, if Ortiz didn’t break the rules this never would have happened so quickly. Mayweather would have taken him out eventually, but not right there. After the fight, Mayweather continued to be a jerk by not answering interview questions asked by Larry Merchant than screaming at the, well-respected, boxing analyst who went back at Mayweather telling him “If I was 50 years younger I’d kick your ass.” This only helps to build Mayweather’s villain reputation.

I’ve been a boxing fan off and on for my whole life and, as I said, I didn’t pay to watch this fight. Like with most things in life, if I don’t like what is being offered I won’t pay for it. The only way to speak to most companies is with money. I don’t want mismatches like this and I won’t support them with my dollars. I haven’t paid for a fight since Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. I had a great time because I was in Las Vegas and I loved Manny.

I’ve gotten on my soapbox before and preached “If you don’t want to see these fights then don’t buy these crappy fights.” This fight was a mismatch and anyone that watches boxing knew it. Everyone says that they want to see Manny and Mayweather fight, but why would either fighter do that?

Each fighter can make about $30-$40 MILLION a couple of times a year fighting scrubs because people pay to watch the fights. If people stopped buying these bad fights Manny and Mayweather might be inclined to get into the ring, but supply and demand doesn’t tell their team that they should do so right now so why take the only fight people want to see off the table?

So Mayweather will keep being a jerk and people will keep paying for his crappy fights and he’ll keep dangling the carrot of a fight with Manny for as long as he can while he continues to get paid.

For what it’s worth, I’m stoked to see the final bout of the Super Six on Showtime in October between Carl Frosch and Andre Ward. The fights in the tournament have, mostly, been good but I’m sure more people watched Mayweather legally and unsportsmanlikely (is that a word?) beat Ortiz on Saturday.

See reaction and what happened on ESPN.com. Photo: Vegas News

“Tyson” Review

I’ve read quite a few good reviews about “Tyson“; the documentary about Mike Tyson’s life.  Everything I read was about how this was a very “real” look at his life.  As I watched the movie I realized that this was indeed very real and a raw look at Tyson’s life.

Listening to Mike Tyson talk about growing up as a kid that was picked on and watching him grow into a bully himself and a petty thug was a little uncomfortable, but interesting.  Even more uncomfortable to watch was Tyson talking about sex, violence and his marriage to Robin Givens.

As a boxing fan I was more interested in his relationship to Cus D’Amato.  D’Amato was Tyson’s trainer and seems to be the person that saved Tyson from life in the hood.  Tyson seemed to look up to D’Amato as his savior and a father figure.  As he said “Cus broke me down and rebuilt me as a new person.”

Sure Tyson won the heavyweight championship after D’Amato died, but it seems as if Tyson began his downward spiral on D’Amato passed away.

In the latter part of the movie Tyson goes into graphic detail about getting whooped by Evander Holyfield, then biting Holyfield’s ear and the bad people he surrounded himself with.  As the movie went on, it got more and more brutal.

The movie had a lot of quick cuts, which made it easy to watch and digest.  This is definitely a well done movie that is easy to watch.  This probably isn’t a movie I’d watch too often, but I don’t watch many movies more than once.  I was happy to see the end of the movie because it started to get a little depressing.  I’ve lived through most of this movie and it was great to see everything I’ve seen on the news in 90 minutes.

Vegas Report – Fight Night!

I headed over to Mirage just before 5pm to pick up tickets for the closed circuit viewing of the Manny Pacquiao & Ricky Hatton fight.  As I’ve stated numerous times before these are two of my favorite boxers.

There was a few hours before the fight so I played a little 3 card poker.  I had a great table with a few nice drinks.  3 of a kind, again, put me up $200 by the time I walked away.  I haven’t been to the Mirage in a few years and the basic layout hasn’t changed much, but the casino has been updated.  I decided to find out where the fight viewing was and found that it was as far away as humanly possible.  I walked through the mall and most of the ballrooms.  There was some kind of military ball as well as some kind of Miss Vietnam pageant.  I took a pit stop by the Terry Fator theater to get a drink and take a look at the pretty women with their ball gowns.

After finding the fight location I headed back to the casino to gamble for a little while longer.  I had a few more drinks and played 3 play video poker for a while.  I left $24 up, but is it really a win if I still have the ticket?

The ballroom was PACKED for the viewing.  I’d say that the room was filled with about 65% of the people favoring Ricky Hatton.  The fight was a landslide and Manny destroyed Ricky.  The Brits, who we so loud before the fight, whimpered out quietly.  I’m happy to have been in Vegas to see this.


Highlights: Pacquiao/HattonMore amazing videos are a click away

After the fight I headed to Samba the Brazilian steakhouse at the Mirage.

dinner-after-manny

At Samba the Green side of the stump means go – bring me the meats!  I’ve been here before and got sick from over-eating so I selected my food accordingly.  Again, everything was good.  I did a good job selecting my meats and didn’t over-eat this time.

On the way out of the Mirage I noticed how crowded the casino was, but few people were gambling.  There were $5 tables  wide open with few takers.  I was surprised by this, but wasn’t slowed from heading to the Hard Rock Casino.  The cab line was huge and the strip was packed, but that only slowed down progress.

I haven’t been to the HRC in just over a year so a quick walk through was in order.   The casino and bar were both packed.  The casino itself, seemed to be pushed together to make room for slots and a go-go stage.  I hate the changes and hope this changes when the casino finishes expansion.  There were so many douchebags with Ed Hardy gear that I wanted to puke.  I sat down to play 3 card poker at a wide open  $5 table.  I was so indifferent that I barely paid attention to my $100 as it went away.  I was just happy to get out of there without the douchebaggery rubbing off on me.

This was a pretty early night as I headed back to Caesars at about 1:30…