As many as 1,500 tickets are said to remain unsold for this weekend’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
While global pay-per-view TV sales for the Las Vegas event are projected to be worth $700m, the MMA Fighting news website says that almost one in 13 seats at the 20,000-capacity T-Mobile Arena remain up for grabs.
The most expensive ticket still available on StubHub as of Thursday was $80,200 for ringside seats. Last week, an ESPN reporter said that the most expensive ticket sold through StubHub to date was $55,830 for a pair of third row floor seats.
Ticket marketplace Vivid Seats said the average ticket price for Mayweather v McGregor has hovered around five to eight percent lower than the Mayweather v Pacquiao bout in 2015, which closed with an average sold ticket price of $3,859. The cheapest ticket for that fight on the secondary market fell in the $4,000 range, while the lowest price for a Mayweather v McGregor ticket was around $1,200 on Vivid Seats yesterday.
TicketIQ’s Jesse Lawrence told CNBC that part of the reason ticket sales may be lagging is due to viewers having cheaper alternatives to simulate the live experience, such as spending as low as $60 to attend a closed circuit screening of the fight.
Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) president Dana White told CNBC that ticket sales already exceed $65m, and will bring in “over $70m”.
Leonard Ellerbe, chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, shrugged off concerns about box office returns and suggested negativity was being stirred by rival Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.
“Actually (Mayweather-Pacquiao) didn’t sell out in seconds,” he said, according to the Independent newspaper. “What you’ve got to understand is that I don’t see what people are making a deal about. I haven’t checked in the past day; I’m sure we’re probably close.
“The only thing that sells out like that, realistically, is like the Rolling Stones. This ain’t nothing like the Rolling Stones: this is a massive event, people are talking about this thing across all genres.
“It took a while (for Mayweather-Pacquiao to sell out), for a number of things. If you’re making reference to Golden Boy and Oscar De La Hoya, he lied to you guys. He’s good for doing that: tricking the fans, but that’s what his objective is.”