The BIG3 is big, but the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout is even bigger, and it now will take BIG3’s place at T-Mobile Arena on Aug. 26 after the sides came to what BIG3 called “a financial and promotional deal.”
The 3-on-3 basketball league co-founded by the rapper/actor Ice Cube had booked the arena in Las Vegas for its championship that day, only to have promoters of the Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view event claim it as well.
Last month Ice Cube made it clear to Newsday his organization had first dibs on the arena but indicated he was willing to move, perhaps to the MGM Grand Arena.
“We’re working out a venue change,” he said. “If they get their [expletive] together, we’ll change. If they don’t, they’ll change. We own the date.”
Evidently they did, because the BIG3 will indeed relocate to the MGM Grand, with the finals to begin at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time and be televised by Fox after an agreement with MGM Resorts, Mayweather Promotions and UFC. The fight will be later that night.
“We are grateful to MGM Resorts, Mayweather Promotions and UFC for presenting us with a generous offer that we could not refuse, ensuring that our fans will have the best experience possible at our BIG3 Championship Finals at the MGM Grand Garden Arena,” Ice Cube and co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz said in a news release. “We are happy we could work together to create an opportunity for our fans to experience both events, making August 26 the most exciting day in sports and entertainment Las Vegas has ever seen.”
Said UFC president Dana White, “We appreciate Ice Cube, Jeff Kwatinetz and the BIG3 for their willingness to work together on bringing the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight to T-Mobile Arena. We look forward to working together with them to ensure that the people in Las Vegas and those watching both events at home will experience a historic day in sports that they’ll never forget.”
The Mayweather-McGregor world news tour began Tuesday in Los Angeles, then goes to Toronto on Wednesday, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday and London on Friday.