Throughout the promotion of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor megafight, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, UFC president Dana White and Mayweather all said time and again that the fight would break the all-time gate record.
They threw out numbers ranging from $60 million to $80 million, but in the end, Mayweather’s 10th-round knockout of UFC star McGregor, who made his pro boxing debut on Aug. 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, did not come close to breaking the record.
The junior middleweight fight, the last of Mayweather’s storied career, generated a live gate of $55,414,865.79, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
There were 137 complimentary tickets given away, according to the Nevada commission. The gate was generated from the sale 13,094 tickets, far short of a sellout at an arena that could have held as many as 20,500 for the fight.
The average sale price for a ticket was $4,232 with face value of tickets at $500 for the cheapest up to $10,000 for the most expensive. While the fight still generated a massive amount of money from ticket sales, it is the No. 2 combat sports gate of all time, falling well behind the $72,198,500 from the sale of 16,219 tickets for Mayweather’s welterweight unification showdown with Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Mayweather-McGregor is comfortably ahead of the No. 3 all-time gate: $20,003,150 from 16,146 tickets for Mayweather’s 2013 junior middleweight unification victory against Canelo Alvarez, also at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Mayweather fights comprise five of the top six gates in Nevada history.
About two weeks before the fight, when Ellerbe was questioned about rumored lagging ticket sales, he said, “I’m actually tired of hearing that question because right now we have over $60 million dollars in the box office. You tell me what part of that remotely looks like ticket sales are slow? This isn’t the damn Rolling Stones concert. That’s the only thing that sells out in seconds.”
While the fight with McGregor failed to set the gate record as organizers predicted it would, the fight could still break the all-time pay-per-view record set by Mayweather-Pacquiao, which sold 4.6 million units domestically.
Official numbers are not known yet, but Showtime PPV said last week that according to its preliminary numbers for the fight, which cost between $89.95 and $99.95 on pay-per-view, it will be no worse than second.
Stephen Espinoza, the executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, said that while numbers are still being tallied, the fight was on track to sell more than 4 million units and could break the record.