Floyd Mayweathers’ last fight, against Marcos Maidana, was a relative thriller compared to many of his showings, in which the stellar pugilist saps drama from the clash, because of his top-grade skill set. The aftermath of the scrap, which went down May 3 at the MGM in Las Vegas, was not as thrilling for many folks who were caught in a crowd crush leaving the venue.
As fans who watched Mayweather take the majority decision left the arena, which was sold out, to the tune of 16,268 customers, some found themselves in a tight band of fight fans shuffling out the hallways, toward exits.
24 or so people were taken to area hospitals as pushing, shoving and some panic ensued.
Speculation at the time settled upon a gunshot causing a stampede, but others said a partition falling loudly in a hallway spooked people. I was in the press room when doors were suddenly shoved open, and gasping persons heading toward the shops promenade exit hustled into the media area, as if searching for safe territory.
“All is safe at the MGM Grand. Last night security responded promptly to crowd excitement to ensure guest safety. … Following Saturday’s boxing event at the MGM Grand Garden, guests exiting the arena were startled by a loud noise, sending many rushing to clear the area,” read a statement issued soon after by the MGM Grand. “MGM Grand Security & Metro Police who were already on the scene responded quickly to assist. Our staff continues to assist guests and take reports regarding the incident. We are investigating the situation thoroughly to understand more completely what occurred, assist those affected, and to ensure further safety precautions.”
All in all, I felt fortunate to be able to make it into the press area unscathed, and thanked the stars above that only relatively mild injuries were reported.
Mayweather fights again tomorrow night, and I’m hopeful that there will be no repeat performance, and that the exiting strategies have been tweaked. I reached out the MGM building personnel to see if they’ve implemented any new strategies to prevent a repeat stampede.
Scott Ghertner, director of public relations for MGM Resorts International, responded.
“In regards to your question about how the crowd will exit the Arena on fight night, I can tell you that MGM Grand has increased its personnel/staff to be able to accommodate all guests inquiries as well as increased its signage to maximize the use of the Arena exits,” he said.
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