Life on the ticket-buying streets in front of T-Mobile Arena.

The Art of the Scalped Ticket

By ALAN SNEL

 

It was two hours before Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor threw their first punches and outside T-Mobile Arena Joe Sekelsky was working over the ticket scalpers.

 

Scalpers were trying to unload tickets for $1,500 or $2,000 a pop but Sekelsky would have no part of it.

 

He was planning to wait out the scalpers and squeeze them right before the big fight and he guaranteed he would get in, along with his teenaged son, Bryan, for $500 or $600 each. Not too bad when the average ticket was selling for more than $3,000.

 

Sekelsky has been buying tickets on the streets at the biggest sports events — from the Daytona 500 to Super Bowls — for 35 years. And in front of the plaza that leads to T-Mobile Arena, Sekelsky was teaching his kid the tricks of the trade of getting the best deal from scalpers.

 

Many fans arrived in green, white and orange.

 

“You got tickets? What do you got? $2,500 each. That’s too much right now,” Sekelsky told a scalper.

 

“The prices are out of hand. Right now, the prices are hyped for the ‘Money Fight’ and they’re inflated,” said Sekelsky, wearing a gray Mayweather-McGregor T-shirt, gray shorts, red Nike sneakers and a flowery fishing hat.

 

Joe and son Bryan Sekelsky are waiting out the scalpers to buy tickets.

 

Welcome to the scene before Saturday’s epic boxing match, which featured a 40-year-old undefeated boxer with a domestic violence record against a colorful, motormouth MMA star who happens to be UFC’s biggest meal ticket.

 

It was Mayweather versus McGregor and the ticket negotiations at T-Mobile Arena was a cross between good ol’ fashion American capitalism and a quasi-circus, where not a few negotiators were imbibing while talking prices.

 

It was also a festive scene, where a McGregor fan arrived via scooter, while many others donned the Irish colors.

 

 

One fight fan arrived dressed in a robe and insisted on singing Sinatra before the main event.

 

Hat salespeople Curtis Haywood and Hope Bellueme at the Black Cover hat stand said 90 percent of the buyers were McGregor fans.

 

Each hat was selling for $30.

 

 

Contact LVSportsBiz.com founder/writer Alan Snel at asnel@LVSportsBiz.com

Alan Snel

Alan Snel brings decades of sports-business reporting experience to LVSportsBiz.com.

Snel covered the business side of sports for the South Florida (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Tribune and Las Vegas Review-Journal. As a city hall beat reporter, Snel also covered stadium deals in Denver and Seattle.

In 2000, Snel launched a sport-business website for FoxSports.com called FoxSportsBiz.com.

After reporting sports-business for the RJ, Snel wrote hard-hitting stories on the Raiders stadium for the Desert Companion magazine in Las Vegas and The Nevada Independent.

Snel is also one of the top bicycle advocates in the country.

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