Mandalay Bay sits at the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. It is part of the MGM Grand consortium which owns all of the hotel-casinos at this end of the Strip with the exception of the Tropicana. Branded as a 43-story luxury resort, Mandalay Bay is connected by a monorail to the Luxor and the Excalibur, sister properties directly north of it. The Excalibur sits catty-cornered to the gargantuan MGM Grand. The back parking lot of the Excalibur sits across the street from T-Mobile Arena.
Mandalay Bay opened in stages. The ice-breaker event in the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center was held on April 10, 1999. The great Italian opera star Pavarotti christened the facility. Six weeks later, Mandalay Bay hosted their first boxing card. In the featured bout, Oscar De La Hoya opposed Oba Carr. This was designed as a tune-up for Oscar, a prelude to his megafight with Felix Trinidad. De La Hoya-Trinidad was also held at Mandalay Bay.
One of the most re-visited fights of the modern era was held at Mandalay Bay on May 7, 2005, when the late Diego Corrales opposed Jose Luis Castillo in the first of their two meetings. The reporters on press row were in general accord that this was the best fight they had ever witnessed. More recently, Mandalay Bay hosted the Ward-Kovalev rematch.
Mandalay Bay has two outdoor concert areas. The larger, consuming 15 acres, sits across the street from the property. A very large tent in this acreage became the media center for the Mayweather-McGregor fight. The media throng was too large to be accommodated in its usual location inside the MGM Grand where many of the pre-fight activities were held.
The main entrance to Mandalay Bay sits back a considerable distance from the sidewalk. The Route 91 Harvest country music festival was held across the street across a wide expanse of boulevard. Only a very high-powered weapon could wreak havoc from that distance.
If you believe that there is something noble in boxing, then you believe that many of the boxers that performed at Mandalay Bay rendered performances that were heroic. How sad that a property that housed so many displays of heroism will now be remembered for one of the most cowardly acts in the history of mankind.
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