Unprecedented security measures will be in place for the May 2 megafight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and challenger Manny Pacquiao, according to sources.
The 16,000-seat MGM Grand Garden is sold out, but hotel and law enforcement officials are bracing for tens of thousands more visitors in town to watch it on closed-circuit TV and soak up the big-fight atmosphere.
With the extra security, the hope is to avert a replay of the violence-marred 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend. There were more than 400 arrests that weekend and four shootings related to the showcase event.
Afterward, then-Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the presence of police officers were instrumental in keeping the event “as safe as it was.”
Metro has plenty of big-crowd experience but this event figures to be more emotionally charged. More than 300,000 fans jam Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve. There were 17 New Year’s arrests this year.
Room rates, especially at the MGM Grand, will likely eclipse the New Year’s Eve rates.
The most economical rooms there, and some are still available, start at $185 on April 30, then jump to $1,650 May 1 and 2, and include a $29 resort fee. The three-night stay would total $3,922.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah continues to buzz with activity as workers focus on a Graceland-like museum. Private tours and functions have been taking place at Newton’s car collection on the property. The National Association of Broadcasters held a private party among the cars during the convention last week. Newton won back the property after a legal battle with previous partners. …
Criss Angel fans are in a dither over Internet rumors that he’s gotten married. …
A trio of Frank Sinatra experts will join me June 21 for the latest “Conversations with Norm” at Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. They will be part of “Remembering Sinatra,” an homage to the Las Vegas legend who’s 100th birthday would be Dec. 12. The participants: Pia Zadora, who was his opening act at the Riviera; Vince Falcone, his musical director, and Sinatra impersonator Bob Anderson, the star of “Frank: The Man, The Music” at The Palazzo. Shawn Tempesta of KTNV-TV, Channel 13’s “Morning Blend” will be the announcer.
All proceeds benefit The Smith Center Education and Outreach Programming. Tickets are $25 and $35. Ticket information: www.thesmithcenter.com or call 702-749-2000. …
Sidelined radio deejay Mark DiCiero sounds like a guy anxious to get back in the studio. DiCiero, who left KMXB-FM, 94.1 in mid-December after nearly 18 years of teaming with Mercedes Martinez, posted this countdown on his Facebook page early Saturday: “73 days-19 hours-53 minutes-10 seconds but who’s counting?” Those numbers would coincide with the rumored six-month noncompete clause. Look for a mid-June launch on Beasley Broadcasting’s new Star 107.9, KGVS-FM, formerly Bob-FM.
Christina Aguilera and fiancé Matthew Rutler, celebrating their second anniversary with friends at Hakkasan. They had dinner and partied at the nightclub. Also at the club: “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul. … Sarah Jessica Parker of “Sex and the City” fame, in the audience at Diana Ross’ show Friday at The Venetian. … Entertainer Michael Feinstein, on a buying spree at Wax Trax Records. He purchased several hundred Bing Crosby records. He’s in town for a private fundraiser. … Comedian Michael McDonald, best known for his longtime role on “MADtv,” dining at La Cave (Wynn) on Friday. … Billionaire Phil Ruffin, the owner of T.I., formerly known as Treasure Island, dining at Lago (Bellagio) on Saturday. Earlier in the week: Wallis Annenberg, president and chairman of the board of The Annenberg Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the U.S. … Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” is shooting an episode at Westgate this weekend.
THE PUNCH LINE
“Marijuana growers are complaining that they can’t write off a single expense thanks to federal laws. Well, apparently someone tried to claim the Phish tour as his home office and that’s not going to happen.” — Conan O’Brien (Correction: Friday’s Punch Line was mistakenly credited to Jimmy Kimmel. It was David Letterman’s.)
Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter.