LAS VEGAS — The Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor megafight Saturday night is not sold out. Tickets on the resale market have not been as hot as many thought they would be.
On the surface, those might be negative economic indicators. But if you’re thinking MayMac might not live up to the hype, it’s worth keeping things in perspective, according to T-Mobile Arena vice president and general manager Dan Quinn.
“Even in the event that they don’t eclipse the [record gate] number set by Mayweather-Pacquiao, it’s hard to call an event that’s potentially the second-highest grossing combat sports event ever a failure by any stretch of the imagination,” Quinn told MMA Fighting.
UFC president Dana White said Thursday that the gate was at $70 million, which would be two off the combat sports record of $72 million set by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Quinn said he doesn’t have exact figures yet — and White might be more up to date than him on the numbers — but if that’s accurate, there’s still a shot MayMac could set a new mark.
“It certainly has a chance,” Quinn said. “If Dana said we’re right at $70 million, we’re right on the cusp of it. So if we’re able to generate any kind of walk up — certainly there’s a ton of buzz in the city, we saw that [Friday] in the area for the weigh-in — if we’re that close, I would think that we would do enough walkup business to potentially eclipse that number.”
Quinn said he’s not quite sure why the fight hasn’t sold out yet and MGM, T-Mobile Arena’s parent company, may never necessarily know because of all the different things that go into it.
“Every event is its own machine in terms of marketing and demand,” Quinn said. “There’s just so many factors that go into it. Us in the arena world, we’re always amazed that when we book any event on the ones that are home runs right off the bat and the ones that we think are gonna do great, we don’t quite get there. There’s just so many variables in place. It’s tough to isolate any one if you have an event that doesn’t sell through all the tickets.”
Pundits have said the high ticket prices, which ranged from $10,000 to $500 and increased on the secondary market, are the reason why MayMac has not been the hit it could have been at the box office. Of course, a gate of more than $70 million probably shows that the decision makers were correct in upping those prices.
“It’s tough to say,” Quinn said. “The ticket prices were ultimately the same as Mayweather-Pacquiao. There’s just so many factors, whether it’s time of the year or what people are doing in terms of travel, you just never know what’s gonna ultimately drive ticket sales for any given event. So, it’s tough to isolate anything, for any event that doesn’t sell out, honestly.”
When all the money and numbers come in, Quinn believes the Mayweather vs. McGregor numbers will be right up there with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Some thought MayMac might have beaten out MayPac and it still might. But it’s going to be close.
“I expect it to be comparable, obviously,” Quinn said. “We’ve got a little bigger venue over here than the [MGM] Grand Garden [Arena], so we’re able to drive a few more people. But it’s not like you’re going from a 10,000-seat venue to a 50,000-seat venue. So while we have the potential to do a few more people over here, I think the overall impact is probably pretty comparable.”