The Floyd Mayweather Jr./Manny Pacquiao fight is already pretty much guaranteed to be the highest grossing fight in combat sports history. The only question now is how obscene the final tally will be. As ESPN reports, it could be pretty damn obscene at over $400 million:
The live gate for the joint Showtime/HBO pay-per-view fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will generate a staggering $74 million from the sale of a little more than 15,000 tickets, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, told ESPN.com on Monday.
That is more than 3½ times the gate record of $20,003,150 generated by ticket sales for Mayweather’s junior middleweight unification fight against Canelo Alvarez, also at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in September 2013.
When Mayweather-Pacquiao was signed in late February, Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions were looking to double the gate record to $40 million, with tickets ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Due to enormous demand, they raised the prices to $1,500 to $7,500 to max out at more than $50 million. Now, after shuffling the number of tickets in each price category and increasing the face value of the top ticket to $10,000, they have scaled the arena for about $74 million, Arum said.
“It’s crazy, but it is what it is,” Arum said. “It’s amazing.”
The vast majority of tickets will not be for public sale. The fighter camps, promoters, Showtime, HBO and the MGM Grand each control a share of tickets, which they will sell to their people and customers.
Which turns this fight into one of the biggest private parties in the history of sports. This might explain why plane tickets into Vegas for fight weekend are still so cheap – most of the people attending the fight are the sort to fly in on private jets.
While the gate is estimated at $74 million, the real money comes from pay-per-view which may pull in $300 million. Then you’ve got foreign TV rights at $35 million and who knows how much in sponsorship and advertising money. Beer company Tecate shelled out over $5 million dollars to be the title sponsor for the fight, and you know there’s dozens of companies under that willing to throw six or seven figures to be the Official Deodorant Of The Mayweather-Pacquiao Corner Cam and other such nonsense.
All in all, there’s no loser in a fight like this. Mayweather is set to get 60% of revenue while Pacquiao gets the remaining 40%.