Saturday 21 October 2017

Party time as 20,000 Conor fans take over Las Vegas

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

Eimear Rabbitt

It's a city famed for its gambling, vibrant nightlife and non-stop partying. So there's little doubt Las Vegas is ready for an onslaught of 20,000 ecstatic Irish fans cheering for Conor McGregor.

Arguably one of the most hyped sporting bouts of the last decade, millions across the world will be watching on Saturday night (5am on Sunday, Irish time) as UFC champion Conor McGregor takes on boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.

Those lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket for the much-anticipated clash - in the T Mobile Arena at the MGM Grand Hotel - are in for a memorable weekend.

Located on the famous strip and boasting five pools, a lazy river, its own nightclub and its own district of bars and restaurants, the MGM is not a place one should go looking for a quiet night.

I stayed eight nights at the bustling hotel and lived to tell the tale, but the infectious party atmosphere certainly takes its toll.

It's a place where Britney Spears and Calvin Harris are regular features and you can get tickets to see hip-hop legends 50 Cent and Snoop Dog for just $30 (€25).

But the buzz in Vegas ahead of this weekend's McGregor vs Mayweather fight is like no other.

"We are expecting over 20,000 Irish alone here for the McGregor fight," one hotel worker at the MGM said.

"It's going to be crazy, which is saying something in a place like this. They will start coming in from Tuesday and stay for at least five or six nights so they will make the most of it given the distance they will have to travel."

A full-sized ring adorned with the faces of McGregor and Mayweather and even featuring a gold lion statue (the hotel's symbol) has been erected in the main reception area of the MGM.

Tickets to see the fight are still up for grabs, but it will cost you - prices on resale website Viagogo start from just over €1,000.

The Irish have a reputation for enjoying a party but so does Vegas - so go prepared for one hell of a weekend.

Irish Independent

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