Friday, May 1, 2015

Fight Weekend...Some Considerations

It's Las Vegas and it's fight weekend.  While most (all, now that I think about it) of the people I know will refrain from attending said event (at $3500 for the cheap seats at least all of the people I know have some common sense!), 16,000+ die hard fight fans will make the trek to Vegas to watch Paquiao and Mayweather fight in person.  Here's some things to consider:

  • You will get a better view on pay per view.  I've been to a few fights at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and while the view isn't terrible, I spent more time looking at the overhead screen so I could better see the action.  An even better view can be had from my own sofa.  Which is where I will be on Saturday evening.
  • Do a bit of recon first.  I've been to many arenas, some with better access than others.  This arena has only a couple of ways in and out and both can easily become clogged with people.  I like arenas with lots of entrances and exits which makes it more difficult and expensive for crowd control but easier to get into and out of for attendees.
  • Get there early and leave earlier or later than the crowds.  The last fight I attended there had me leaving at the final bell.  I went down through the convention center and out to the parking garage, I got into my vehicle and out of the parking lot before most people had even left their seats.  I'm not one for crowds.
  • Be prepared to spend money.  These big fights are all about making money.  From the sports books to the valets to the waitresses to the big prize will be spending money left and right at these kinds of events.  Hotel rooms are jacked up, ticket prices are (really) jacked up...basically everything you will pay for will come at a premium because the event is so popular.
  • Security will be beefed up.  Vegas is no stranger to big crowds and big events and both the security you see and the security you don't see will be beefed up for the weekend.
  • Nevertheless, you are still responsible for your own safety.  There are a number of safety tips for dealing with big crowds, namely: secure your valuables from pickpockets, know where the exits are, don't get into the middle of the crowd but stay on the edge, watch the overall crowd for signs of problems, be patients and chill instead of tense and hostile, set a meet up spot in case you lose your group (cell phone lines may be overloaded at the venue), curtail any drug use or excessive alcohol until you are in a neutral place, don't get dehydrated (this is the desert after all), wear comfortable shoes.
  • In the event of a major problem (stampede, shooting, etc) go for cover and concealment until you can make your escape.  Duck and hide and/or duck and run depending on the situation.
  • Come prepared as much as possible.  While my idea of being prepared is a bottle of water, a few granola bars, and a concealed weapon, some or all of these items may be refused entry at the door.  Most big events will include a bag search (all bottled beverages are usually not allowed in) and a metal detector screening (all weapons, even will a permit, are generally banned).  

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