MGM GRAND GARDEN REVISES FAN EXITS TO ENHANCE SAFETY
If you’re attending tonight’s boxing card at the MGM Grand Garden, it will be business as usual when you enter the facility for the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara junior middleweight fight.
Expect to pass through metal detectors and be subject to bag searches. However, leaving will be different from what fans are accustomed to.
In the wake of the chaos that ensued after an incident in the adjacent food court following the May 3 Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana fight, hotel officials and the Metropolitan Police Department have devised new routes to exit the Grand Garden.
Fans will be directed to leave through exits at the east and west ends of the building, and there will be a clearer path to access “The District,” where shops and the hotel’s food court are located. It was in that area that a metal sign fell, creating a loud bang that some people interpreted as gunshots. Panic ensued, and those fleeing the food court area found themselves intermingled with fans exiting the fight.
Confusion followed, and 60 people were injured, 24 having to be treated at area hospitals.
“Obviously, safety is our No. 1 priority,” said Richard Sturm, the MGM’s president of entertainment and sports. “We’ve made several changes that will be noticeable. We’re going to have more exits, more signs and more security to direct the fans out of the Grand Garden.”
Tonight is the first boxing event in the Grand Garden since Mayweather-Maidana. A crowd of approximately 14,000 is expected, and Sturm said the arena staff and security will be ready.
“We plan on everyone being safe,” Sturm said.
STEVE CARP/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL