May Pivotal Month For Las Vegas

Between the beginning of construction on Resorts World Las Vegas, the Mayweather-Pacquiao (l.) fight, and the closing of the Riviera, the first week of May is shaping up to be one of the most interesting in the city's history.

It truly is tough to pick which phrase best suits Las Vegas for May. “Out with the old, in with the new” works, as does “fight your way to the top”. The point is, with so much going on in the month for the city, the easy to see the pieces are falling into place for what is envisioned in regards to the future.

May 2 with assuredly be one of the busiest days in the history of Las Vegas. To put things into perspective, on the low end of the totem pole for that day is the Kentucky Derby. While the number of oversized hats and mint juleps will probably pale in comparison to Churchill Downs, the buzz surrounding the race will sadly only be a whimper compared to what else is going on that day.

With the Riviera shutting its doors for good on Monday, May 4 at noon, the casino is set to be packed on May 2, the final Saturday of operation. A flood of patrons looking to get one final glimpse of the 60-year old property which has brought countless memories is all but guaranteed.

However, those two events combined pale in comparison to the event taking place that same evening. Inside the MGM Grand, the fight that boxing fans have been waiting to happen for years will finally take place, as Manny Pacquiao will finally square off against Floyd Mayweather.

To put into perspective how large of an event this is simply from a financial sense, the fighters are set to receive $200 million from the fight, with a 60/40 split in favor of Mayweather. The gate is expected to exceed $40 million as well, which will top the previous record, set in the 2013 fight between Mayweather and Saul Canelo Alvarez, which was $20 million.

While tickets for the fight hold a face value ranging from $1,500 to $7,500, it is expected those tickets will rise to $7,500 for the nosebleeds, and $75,000 for ringside by the time of the fight.

While May 4 will by the final day of operations at the Riviera, May 5 will mark the first day of Resorts World Las Vegas construction. The $4 billion casino-resort is set to be the most important piece of the Las Vegas Strip in quite some time. It will mark the first time since Imperial Palace an Asian theme dominated a casino. The theme combined with all the amenities may be the spark needed to increase Chinese tourism on the strip.

The resort will feature 6,000 rooms, a 4,000-seat theater, indoor water park, and a live panda exhibit. Needless to say, revenue will swell up a bit that month from that weekend alone, but Vegas is hoping it will be the spark the city needs to reach the next level in tourism numbers.