US & Canada

How to find tickets for the world's hottest event

Eleven-time, five-division world champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather (L) and eight-division world champion Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao attend a press conference in Los Angeles, California March 11, 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Floyd Mayweather will fight Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas on 2 May - good luck getting tickets

It is the hottest ticket in town - and not just in boxing. Floyd Mayweather will take on Manny Pacquiao at Las Vegas's MGM Garden Arena on 2 May.

The odds of getting a ticket are as low as poor Charlie Bucket's, the character who hoped to visit Willy Wonka's chocolate factory in the famous Roald Dahl book.

In the end, Charlie had to rely on pure fate to see his dream fulfilled.

The vast majority of the world's boxing fans will need luck and lots of cash to get them a ringside seat for the fight of the year.

Tickets for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight will cost between $1,500 (£999) and $7,500 (£4,997), and will go on sale at 12:00 Las Vegas time (20:00 BST) on Thursday.

Even though the arena has 16,500 seats, only 1,000 or so tickets will be made available to the public.

The rest will go to broadcasters and to the two fighters' camps.

Few, if any, of the buyers are likely to be from Pacquiao's native Philippines, where the price of one of the most expensive tickets is roughly the same as the per capita amount of the country's GDP.

Image copyright
Image caption If you have $59,000 spare, you may be able to get a ringside seat

One thing is certain - finding a ticket anywhere other than through the official vendor, Ticketmaster, is tough. The MGM Grand Garden Arena told the BBC sales to the public were "strictly on a first-come, first-served basis".

So who else might have tickets available?

"No way, not us," said one Las Vegas vendor contacted by the BBC.

And if I were to turn up in Las Vegas in the hope of buying a ticket on the day of the fight? The line went quiet as the vendor struggled to articulate what a bad idea this was.

How about hitching a ride with the sponsors? It is probably best not to count on that, given that none of the sponsors have been announced yet - though there has been plenty of speculation on that front.

And so, to the scalpers. Their work reselling tickets is not as bloody as their name suggests, though they are far from popular with everyone.

On Thursday morning, some sites were already re-selling seats for the fight for as much as $59,400 (£39,583) - not forgetting, of course, the $15 (£10) delivery charge.

But is it legal?

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Only around 1,000 tickets for the fight are on sale to the public

It depends where you live. Many US states do not regulate the secondary ticket market - an industry reported by equity research firm Northcoast Research to be worth $5bn a year.

Other states have strict legislation against it, while in Hawaii, for example, it is legal to resell tickets - apart from for boxing matches.

In the UK, it is not illegal to resell tickets, but new measures announced earlier this year means ticketing websites must publish some details clearly - such as the name of the original buyer. Resale websites have resisted having prices capped at the original sale price.

In France, a law from 2012 prohibits the resale of tickets in a way that acts as a parallel, competitive market. But individual ticket sales are permitted - as long as the resale price does not exceed face value.

Similar restrictions are in place in some Australian states and in Israel, largely to avoid popular tickets being bought in bulk for resale.

As for Nevada, the state where the fight will take place, there are no resale restrictions in place at all.

Matt Christie, the web editor of Boxing News, who hopes to be in the press enclosure at the fight, said: "I find the whole thing a bit crazy. It's mind-boggling.

"You'd normally have 1,000 seats for sponsors... and the rest for fans - not the other way around. So there's no way you can get in - unless you are absolutely loaded."

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