83°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

If you’re tempted to go to MGM on fight night, don’t do it

Everyone knows where the center of the sports universe will be Saturday.

Although the Kentucky Derby and the later rounds of the NFL draft are that day, both are getting trumped this year by a boxing match that’s been called “the Fight of the Century,” the expensive, superhyped, long-awaited and expensive match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

And where there’s a Fight of the Century, there’s traffic.

On Tuesday, the Nevada Department of Transportation issued a traffic warning from 9 a.m. today, Friday, through Sunday at noon due to the fight expecting to bring between 150,000 to 200,000 visitors to Las Vegas.

“We’re expecting heavy traffic delays through the Resort Corridor during fight weekend,” said NDOT spokesman Tony Illia. “We advise taking alternate routes, if possible. However, if travel through the Resort Corridor is unavoidable then please plan accordingly and allow additional drive time.”

You have to sympathize a little with MGM Resorts International. Not only is the company going to have to go out and buy a new fleet of vehicles to haul all that money to the bank, but it will have to walk the fine line of being welcoming, accommodating hosts to the biggest sporting event in decades while telling people who want to get a sniff of fight night ambiance that the MGM Grand is not the place to be Saturday unless you have a ticket to get inside the arena.

I called and asked MGM officials about traffic concerns and the message to those hoping to catch a glimpse of the celebrities attending the fight is, “Stay away.”

If you want to watch the fight, stay away. If you think you’re going to see a celebrity, stay away. If you want to take Aunt Millie and Uncle Fred for a drive on the Strip, stay away.

From Saturday afternoon to 10 p.m., you won’t want to be anywhere near Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue lest your vehicle be swallowed by the giant vortex of traffic.

“There’s going to be extreme traffic all around the MGM Grand Garden all week,” a company spokeswoman said.

The fighters arrive Tuesday so there will be a swarm at 1:30 p.m.

The doors to the arena open at noon on Friday for the official weigh-in, an event that observers are going to have to pay to get in for the first time (it goes to charity at least). And then, the big event Saturday. The undercard starts at 6 p.m., which is why traffic jams will be an all-day occurrence.

As for celebrity sightings, those inside the arena will see the glitterati. But there are no red-carpet entrances planned. The people who can afford the $1,500 to $7,500 ticket prices also will have the juice to get in through private entrances and they will.

I know that there will be hundreds, perhaps thousands who won’t heed these pleas and will show up anyway. Just be forewarned that MGM security officials will be watching for loiterers, especially in high-traffic areas like the front lobby.

“If you have a reason to be there, you’re welcome,” the spokeswoman said. “If you have a ticket inside or are a guest at the hotel or have dinner reservations at one of the restaurants, you’re welcome.”

If you don’t, stay away.

If you’re wanting to see the fight in a charged atmosphere, look into some of the venues where closed-circuit television feeds are planned — Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Monte Carlo, Aria, Bellagio and The Mirage. Tickets are $150 each. By now, they might be sold out or close to selling out.

For those who do have reason to be at the MGM, consider parking along the Las Vegas Monorail route and commuting in. Monorail officials noted that some of the properties along the route — Bally’s, Harrah’s, the Linq and SLS — would appreciate some pre-fight patronage.

The Las Vegas Convention Center isn’t an option to park and ride because the parking lot will be closed for a trade-show move-in. Our tourism economy will benefit greatly from the Fight of the Century and, thankfully, this isn’t the type of event that occurs often.

Until Pacquiao-Mayweather II.

Pahrump Valley Times editor Arnold M. Knightly contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Face mask backers urge Board of Regents to make them mandatory for all

Proponents of face masks on college campuses this fall on Friday urged the Nevada Board of Regents to go beyond a mandate for employees OK’d by the Clark County Commission.

Adam Sullivan confirmed as Nevada State Engineer

After serving as “acting” Nevada state engineer and administrator of the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) for the past seven months, Adam Sullivan has now been confirmed in those positions, with his official appointment reported in a press release issued Tuesday, July 20.

Pahrump Back to School Fair set for July 31

It is once again that time of year when parents and students must turn their thoughts to the coming school term and begin preparing for another nine months of academic endeavors. With the 2021-2022 school year set to begin on Tuesday, August 10 in Nye County, in an effort to help ensure that area families are ready to send their children back to the classroom, be it virtual or in person, the NyE Communities Coalition is now gearing up for its annual Back to School Fair.

Nye County opposing NASA land proposal

In Nevada, mining is a major industry, bringing in millions of dollars in taxes every year and employing thousands of workers in high-paying positions that help support the local economy but much of the mining operations in the Silver State rely on access to federally controlled lands.

Pahrump Lions take audiences on emotional journey with “Love Letters”

It was an emotional roller-coaster ride of a weekend for audiences at Sanders Family Winery, who were treated to two nights of theatrical entertainment from the Pahrump Valley Lions Club with the A.R. Gurney play “Love Letters”.

Suspect arrested after armed standoff

At least three Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies are recovering from minor injuries after a tense standoff with an armed suspect.

Conversations with Nevada AG Ford continues

Some of the country’s most vulnerable populations are children and the elderly and it is just these populations that will be the subject of the next segment in a series of public outreach sessions from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, which will continue its Conversations with AG Ford initiative this coming Wednesday.

 
Nevada riding hot streak of record gaming numbers. But will it last?

The statewide gaming win topped $1 billion for March, April and May — with May setting an all-time monthly high as casinos brought in $1.23 billion. COVID-19, however, remains a concern.