Vegas ready to rumble as megafight enters final countdown
By Steve Keating
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - After a night of New Year's Eve style partying, Las Vegas awoke ready to rumble on Saturday as the 'Fight of the Century' between unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao entered the final countdown.
As the sun rose over the desert gambling resort, high-rollers, entertainment moguls and business tycoons continued to flood into town for what is expected to be the top grossing prize fight of all-time.
Only the fabulously rich and very famous will hold the golden tickets to the heavily secured 16,800 seat MGM Grand Garden Arena for the welterweight showdown that has been five years in the making.
The Las Vegas Sun reported on Saturday that airport traffic was reaching record volume levels, forcing hundreds of private jets to smaller area airports.
With tickets commanding six-figure sums on the resale market, even A-list celebrities were being forced to call in favours, and many were left waiting to hear if they had made the red carpet cut.
Fewer than 1,000 tickets were offered to the public and those vanished in seconds. The remainder were divided among the two fighters' promotion companies and MGM, who will make seats available to their best customers.
A Showtime official told Reuters the cable giant, which will share pay-per-view rights with rival HBO, had been fielding calls from anxious A-listers over the last 24 hours eager to confirm ringside reservations.
But with demand far out-stripping supply, some celebrities faced the humbling prospect of being shut out or bumped into the upper levels. Continued...