Will the public be willing to pay high ticket prices for Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor?

Courtesy of ESPN:

Even though a deal has not been made between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, ticket brokers are anticipating what will be perhaps the most hyped fight in history and are trying to get a read on just how hot that ticket will be.

“I would never bet against the marketing machine that is Floyd Mayweather and his camp,” said Harris Rosner of Los Angeles-based VIP Tickets, which has sold tickets to fights for 40 years. “And there’s not many better than Conor McGregor, either, when it comes to the art of promotion.”

The high water mark to compare it to would be the fight between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in May 2015, which shattered the ticket revenue record for a boxing match.

Mayweather-Pacquiao grossed $72.2 million in tickets at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which puts the average ticket sold at an astounding $4,451 each.

In order to get to that number, 16,219 tickets were sold. The cheapest face-value ticket for the fight was $1,500, with most tickets selling for $3,500. The 1,100 tickets closest to ringside went for $10,000 each.

If the venue is the new T-Mobile Arena, there are 3,200 more seats to sell, which means the average price would have to be $3,620 to beat the total gate record of Mayweather-Pacquiao.

There are some doubts even that number can be hit.

“This will certainly be a big ticket due to the names and the attention it will get, but it, by no means, is the biggest of tickets,” said Patrick Ryan, co-founder of Eventellect, a ticket brokerage and management firm.

Ryan said the first problem is that boxing fans aren’t confident it will be much of a fight and UFC fans won’t be watching the same sport they know and love.

“That leaves the main players in the market being those that want a spectacle, and spectacles don’t draw as well as a real, meaningful event,” he said.

That means if it’s priced right, according to Ryan, the ticket prices will be less than both McGregor’s and Mayweather’s biggest events, including Pacquiao.

The fight date might also matter for ticket sales. With two great promoters, the longer the lead time, the more business could be done.

Mayweather has almost exclusively fought in May and September, but the Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez boxing match is spoken for on Sept. 16.

John Avello, head of the sports book at the Wynn, said his best guess is an October or November fight.

“September looks like it’s now out,” Avello said. “And December is a dead month as you have the college football conference championships in the beginning and then everyone is planning for Christmas.”

An October date would also leave enough time to market the event, especially with an overseas crowd.

“I think the Europeans will come, and they’ll be willing to spend to see this fight,” said one broker who asked not to be named. “Celebrities will buy the high-end tickets too, like they did for Mayweather-Pacquiao. I mean, what else is there to see? They’re not going to Triple G and Canelo.”