The Sporting News is reporting that the fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. – one of the most heavily promoted events of all time – fell far short of a record in terms of gate receipts.
Jed Goodman is cited in the report, stating that the August 26th bout generated $55,414,865 on the sale of 13,094 tickets. That is far short of the record of $72,198,500 set in 2015 by Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand. It’s also far short of the reassuring numbers that promoter Leonard Ellerbe trotted out to dispute reports of the limp sales.
If these numbers are accurate, the venue was only sold to approximately 64% of capacity. T-Mobile Arena can hold just over 20,000 for boxing events. Aggressively high prices and a policy that allowed only local pickup the week of the event drove interested fans away. Another factor was the unavoidable fact that Mayweather is 40 years old, and McGregor had never boxed as a professional, despite his success in the UFC world.
Promoters likely don’t mind that the seats went largely unoccupied, as the same report indicated that pay-per-view numbers for the fight might exceed 6 million purchases – far above the current record of 4.6 million buys (also for Pacquiao-Mayweather).
The next major boxing showdown is just weeks away, as Las Vegas (and T-Mobile Arena) host Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin on September 16th. That fight, put together by Mayweather Promotions rival Golden Boy Promotions (run by former champion Oscar De La Hoya), has been sold out for some time, though many great seats for Alvarez-GGG are available on the secondary market.