Those who want to buy tickets for next month's fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao may soon need to confront the possibility that there will be no public sale.
While promoters from both sides have said less than 1,000 tickets would be sold to the public for face value, multiple dates have passed and no official announcement has been made.
With about two weeks remaining until the May 2 bout, and a secondary market that has been quiet in anticipation of the public sale, it's possible that resale will be the only option, according to Chris Matcovich, a spokesman for aggregator TiqIQ.
"It was supposed to be three weeks ago, then two weeks, then this week, and my gut feeling is that they won't have that public sale," Matcovich said in a telephone interview.
Tickets for the Las Vegas bout, which is projected to bring in at least $300 million total, are currently listed on TiqIQ for an average of $11,922. That's more than triple the next closest fight the company has ever handled and 14 percent more than the final average for this year's Super Bowl. The get-in price is $4,149 with ringside seats listed for as much as $67,600.
If there's no public sale, that means all of the tickets were purchased and divided between the MGM Grand and promoters. Those tickets filter down to the fighters' camps, networks, celebrities, friends and brokers, meaning some would end up on the secondary market.
Top Rank, the promotion company representing Pacquiao, initially said the sale would be last month.
Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, told a Fox affiliate in Las Vegas that the sale would be this week, and there's been no official announcement. Lee Samuels, a spokesman for Top Rank, declined to comment via telephone.
Should the public sale happen next week, the market would operate similar to the Super Bowl, which has two weeks from when teams are announced to when they take the field.
The Super Bowl typically has a spike in prices when the market is set, then a sharp decline leading into the weekend of the game.
This fight would be a little different because of venue size and demand dynamic -- instead of two fan bases, those interested in the fight are mostly deep-pocketed -- said Connor Gregoire, communications analyst at aggregator SeatGeek.
"I could see this still going smoothly despite the tight window if brokers are able to line up a lot of handshake agreements with clients in advance," Gregoire said in an email. "If that's not the case, a big influx of inventory hits the online resale market next week, and it turns into a race to the bottom."
Mayweather and Pacquiao, the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, first discussed fighting in 2009, starting six years of speculation and public intrigue. Mayweather (47-0) has never lost and won world titles in five different weight classes. Pacquiao (57-5-2) has won titles in eight weight divisions.
Most resale listings online right now are still on speculation, as many brokers don't have tickets in-hand, Matcovich said. TiqIQ's traffic data shows a lot of window shopping, with few sales.
The public sale for big fights typically occurs around 10 weeks prior to the event. That leaves time for the market to settle after fans who aren't able to buy at face value realize the secondary market is their only hope.
It also allows fans to plan ahead with flights and accommodations, which could quickly become difficult for those looking to see Mayweather and Pacquiao live.
"In this short period of time, public sale or not, there may be less people willing to go because of logistics on their side," Matcovich said.
Face-value prices at the 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena were scaled to produce a gate of $72 million, according to Top Rank founder and chief executive Bob Arum.
That's 3 1/2 times more than the $20 million gate generated by Mayweather's 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez, the previous record for a boxing match.
Matcovich said TiqIQ, which operates as a middle man, has been asked to sign contracts showing their willingness to list speculative tickets, meaning TiqIQ is taking the risk for any sales it facilitates.
To protect itself, TiqIQ has limited the amount of listings fans can access.
"We're selling some tickets obviously, but we're not as comfortable selling the most expensive ones," he said.