The superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was expected to challenge the all-time gate record held by Mayweather’s 2015 showdown with Manny Pacquiao that rang up $72,198,500 in ticket sales.
According to UFC president Dana White, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and Mayweather, it wasn’t a possibility, but a probability that Mayweather-McGregor would surpass that record with something in the ballpark of $80 million at the gate.
In the end, Mayweather’s 10th round TKO of McGregor did excellent numbers, but it didn’t come close to surpassing Mayweather-Pacquiao.
The highly anticipated showdown between boxing’s unbeaten surefire hall of famer and the UFC lightweight champion making his pro debut raked in a massive $55,414,865.79, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Although still good for the second highest gate in Nevada history, it fell $16,783,634.21 short of eclipsing Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Part of the problem could be connected to the fact that the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was not sold out. Only 13,094 tickets were sold (with 137 complimentary tickets given out) in a building that was configured to seat 17,698 spectators. There were visible empty pockets of seats throughout the arena but all promoters involved were confident that they would still topple the live gate record.
The face value for tickets for Mayweather-McGregor started at $500 for the most inexpensive seats in the arena and went all the way up to $10,000 for a ringside seat. Many believed the ticket pricing would prove to be problematic and slowed down ticket sales for one of the most in-demand fights in recent memory.
There still is a chance that Mayweather-McGregor breaks the all-time pay-per-view record held by Mayweather-Pacquiao at 4.6 million. Those numbers have yet to be released but Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza told “The MMA Hour” that Mayweather-McGregor has a “good shot” at surpassing Mayweather-Pacquiao in the PPV department.
“We are now sort of mid-4 million,” Espinoza said. “If we see the kind of growth that we typically see, then we’ll break the record. I don’t want to assume we get the typical growth, because this is not a typical event. There are many different ways in which this event behaved differently. But we have a very good shot at breaking the record.”