High Fees Depressing Sales for Mayweather-McGregor Superfight

SOUTH WINDSOR, CT – 19 Aug, 2017 – As the much-hyped fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday approaches, one thing is becoming clear: Aggressively high prices and per-ticket fees are threatening to leave a remarkably high number of seats vacant.

While promoter Leonard Ellerbe has attempted to mute reports of sagging sales by claiming ticket sales have already exceeded $60 million for the fight – approaching the $72 million gate record set by Mayweather’s 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao – the numbers make his assurances tough to believe. As of Friday afternoon, there were 78 rows in the arena where fans could purchase as many as six tickets from Ticketmaster.

The secondary ticketing marketplace was similarly stagnant, with TicketNews.com reporting that prices have fallen by approximately 10 percent at the bottom end of the market, and much higher among the highest price options.

From the start of the sale, numerous factors have conspired to depress the figures. Fans interested in buying tickets when the sale began had to register through Ticketmaster’s “Verified Fan” program, and the only option for delivery was for the buyer to pick their tickets up in Las Vegas the week of the fight. By far, however, the biggest barrier has been exorbitantly high prices and per-ticket fees.

The lowest priced seat in the arena went for $500 plus fees from Ticketmaster. Once those were (almost immediately) gone, the next step up was $2,500, which came with another $218 in service and facility charges per ticket. Seats close to the action – also still available in the primary marketplace – were more than $10,000 each, with another $660.35 in fees.

“The promoters of this fight made the classic mistake of trying to wring every dime out of the consumer from the start,” says Don Vaccaro, CEO of TicketNetwork. “Instead of letting the market arrive at the final price, they got greedy, and it looks like they’re stuck choosing between dropping their prices drastically – or having a half-empty arena for an event that they’ve hyped as the biggest fight in history.”

For consumers still looking to catch the spectacle, the secondary market is the best option at the moment. On Friday, tickets were available on TicketClub for as little as $1,500, with no additional fees. StubHub’s least expensive ticket was $1,716 (after $290 in fees), while VividSeats were $1,725 ($345 in fees). Ticketmaster resale’s best bargain was the lone secondary market ticket still over the $2,000 price point, coming in at $2,109 with $394 in fees. Tickets starting at $2,500 (plus fees) are also available from Ticketmaster in the primary marketplace.

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