Need tickets for this weekend? Let’s make a deal…
You might have heard that Floyd Mayweather Jr., the most accomplished boxer of this era, is facing Conor McGregor, who is making his pro boxing debut at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. While another boxing event is taking place in Carson, California, at the StubHub Center on the same evening, it has basically become an afterthought from the moment May-Mac was announced.
When this promotion was first launched, it was stated by those involved that this would be the single biggest event in combat sports history (not sure if they meant in terms of impact or just economically) and records were predicted for the number of pay-per-view buys and the live gate (where tickets were priced as high as $10,000 for ringside seats).
It’s not clear how this fight is projecting on pay-per-view but at least a few million buys are expected. As for the ticket sales, well, that’s been a major – if unwanted – storyline, from the organizers’ point of view. While there have been claims of robust sales from anyone associated with Mayweather-McGregor, there is plenty of evidence to suggest there are plenty of tickets to be had – and most of them at below face-value.
Fight week in Las Vegas is now in full effect and the hype machine will work overtime till Saturday evening to ensure that, along with the nine-figure paydays of the two combatants, everyone else earns a few bucks, as well.
And if you happen to be in “Sin City” this upcoming weekend and are curious about this novelty fight, well, you will most likely be able to score a favorable deal for a ticket. Jim Boone of KO Tickets, and a regular guest of “The Next Round” podcast, had predicted several weeks ago that with the (overly) aggressive pricing of May-Mac that the secondary market would plummet – which is precisely what has taken place here.
“I’ve never said they’re not going to make money,” Boone made clear this past Monday evening during his spot on TNR. “I said the pricing of the tickets, the money, I believe, they’re going to leave on the table will be the most significant miss that we’ve seen for an event that was hyped as much as it was.
“They talked about a $100 million gate and I don’t believe they’re going to get anywhere close. As far as tickets on the secondary market, this will literally be the number one event, as far as the most seats being re-sold for under face value. And that’s not necessarily because they’re not selling for a lot of money – it’s because the face value was so preposterous.”
Tickets have even shown up on the Costco website, to which Boone explained, “That has nothing to do with the promotion. That’s actually an independent ticket broker that has that deal, so it’s actually pretty smart to do that. You never know; maybe somebody is going to buy off of it. But that wasn’t actually Mayweather or the UFC doing that.”
It’s not clear just how many housewives from the Midwest decided to purchase $3,500 tickets for this Saturday evening, on a whim, as Leonard Ellerbe suggested.
What’s also alarming is that hotel occupancy rates on the Strip are really no different than normal for the late summer (which certainly isn’t a peak season for Las Vegas). “I think the prices scared people off,” opined Boone, who lives in Vegas. “If you start too high (on the ticket prices), people will just decide not to go.”
Along with the face value of the tickets, you are now often faced with exorbitant “convenience fees,” attached that can add another $500-plus for certain tickets. For many fans who can’t score tickets but want to be a part of the fight week atmosphere, going to a closed-circuit location is an option.
Boone said of the closed-circuit for May-Mac, “It looks like it’s a disaster. I’m looking at the same seats just sitting there. And it’s very possible that people will come into town, try to get a seat for the fight. If they don’t get it, they’ll go to the closed-circuit. So I’m not saying they’re going to get a late rush on that.”
This isn’t to say that May-Mac isn’t a happening. To the contrary, it is dominating the sports news cycle but the bottom line is it was simply over-priced, even for the amount of interest it is garnering. “The pricing was the actual problem. The issue with the fight – which they didn’t pay attention to – of the people that are going, nine out of 10 buyers want the cheapest seat possible,” explained Boone, who has been in the ticket business for decades.
He continued, “This is not like the (Manny) Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, where there was a high-end demand for it. Now certainly some people have spent a lot of money on ringside but those deals are few-and-far between. Basically everyone wants the cheapest seats and they have a budget. So probably 85 percent of the venue, how it was was priced, was untouchable for the average fight fan and we’re seeing basically every seat that’s sold with the big box retailer are all under face value.”
Word is the MGM Grand (the host casino for this promotion) didn’t buy nearly the amount of tickets it normally does for a bout of this magnitude. Also, the T-Mobile has approximately 4,500 more seats than the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
So if you want go go, what’s should the game plan be?
“Just enjoy yourself until Saturday and don’t even think about buying a ticket before Saturday because, on Saturday, it is going to be an absolute bloodbath for the overpriced lower-level seats, especially the $7500 face value, and, if you have money – you will have tickets. Very simple,” said Boone, who then noted that, while on StubHub, he saw May-Mac tickets being listed all over for below face value. “The writing is on the wall. This thing is going down and, believe me, it’s going to compress to a get-in ticket, a lower-level ticket and a ringside. It’s going to find the lowest possible price.
“Which I think has got considerable distance to fall, still.”
It’s clear that the ceiling for these tickets is not going to reach the expected height some had hoped. The question is now just how low is the floor?
Meanwhile, how are things going for the card at the StubHub Center, where Miguel Cotto faces Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title on HBO?
“That fight is not actually selling,” stated Boone. “The fight started off pretty good and then certainly it kind of got squashed with all the noise of the Mayweather fight. But typically, with the StubHub Center, there’s so much action for all the fights there the week of the event. I actually really think the ‘SuperFly’ card is hurting it a lot more than the Mayweather fight.”
On September 9, from the same venue, a trio of anticipated super flyweight bouts will take place.”I think the 9/9 card is causing more late-buying resistance than the Mayweather fight is,” opined Boone, who says that event, which is being run by K2 Promotions, is ”very, very, very strong. ‘SuperFly’ is very good; we’re selling everyday. The cheap seats are sold-out; the ringsides are sold-out and it looks like there’s still a decent number of the 60s (dollars) but those are starting to get clean and you’re whittling down to what’s available.”
Then you have the September 16 middleweight blockbuster between middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez, which was priced from $5000 to $300, that takes place at the T-Mobile Arena. Golden Boy Promotions announced it as a sell-out a few weeks ago.
Boone says of that secondary market, “As far as the ‘Canelo’ fight, I mean, once again, that definitely slowed down with the announcement of the Mayweather fight but it has absolutely stayed steady and it just keeps selling and selling and selling and I truly believe that once the Saturday circus is over and it’s three weeks that Golden Boy and K2 have to really pump it, you’re going to see a major increase in advertising and a really strong push and it’s going to be a monster event, to say the least.”
But getting back to this weekend – want to make a deal? Well, Boone (whose Twitter handle is @kotickets) is your Monty Hall but he also preaches a bit of patience.
“I don’t want to sell you tickets Thursday and then you look online and say, ‘Geez, I over-paid by 500 bucks.’ Let’s wait till the weekend because I believe it’ll be fun for guys to tell the story: ‘Yeah, I went to town and I got a $5000 ticket for $2,000 bucks.’ So just hold out; I think there’s going to be a lot of good deals.
“It will be an interesting weekend, to say the least.”
You can hear the entirety of Boone’s interview here on “The Next Round”, hosted by Gabe Montoya and me.
“The 3 Knockdown Rule” is back and Mario Lopez and I review the past few weeks in boxing and we have plenty of “Final Flurries.” Also, how did I get Mario in trouble on Twitter? Listen here…
Speaking of Canelo-GGG, both fighters will take part in a public workout at the L.A. Live on Monday afternoon, starting at noon…”Mr. Charger Talk” Beto Duran and I will be on the call from Corona, on Friday night, for Thompson Boxing Promotions on Facebook Live and ThompsonBoxing.com, starting at 8:05 p.m. PT…Julian Rodriguez makes his return to the ring on September 8, at the 2300 Arena in Philly…Can’t wait for ESPN’s “30 for 30” on the 1988 Dallas Carter football team, which was led by future Miami Hurricane Jessie Armstead…Mr. Boone’s number (if you’d like to talk to him) is 800-283-8699…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.