The worldwide phenomenon that is the welterweight title unification fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is widely expected to shatter revenue records in boxing history, with the match possibly surpassing $400 million in revenue.
The live gate for the May 2 match, which will be a joint venture between Showtime and HBO, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will already rake in $74 million from sales of over 15,000 tickets, according to Bob Arum, chairman of Top Rank, the promoter of Pacquiao.
The figure is almost four times that of the gate record that was set by another Mayweather fight, which was the one against Canelo Alvarez for the junior middleweight unification fight. The match, also held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in September of 2013, reached revenues of just a shade over $20 million.
Upon the agreement of the match between Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions, the promoters were looking to double the record set by the Mayweather-Alvarez fight and take in $40 million, with ticket prices ranging from $1,000 up to $5,000. However, due to the massive demand for the tickets, the prices have been increased to $1,500 up to $7,500, resulting in an expected live gate of $50 million.
Now, after the number of tickets to be issued for each price category has been shuffled and the face value of the tickets now reaching $10,000, the live gate revenue is expected to reach $74 million.
"It's crazy, but it is what it is," said Arum. "It's amazing."
Most of the tickets to the fight, however, will not be freely sold to the public. The camps of the fighters, the promoter companies, Showtime, HBO and the MGM Grand Garden Arena will each have a share of the tickets to be sold, with each in turn selling the tickets to their people and their customers.
According to Arum, there will likely be a handful of tickets to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight to be sold to the public next week.
"It's mania," Arum added.
In addition to shattering live gate records, it is expected that the match will break pay-per-view records as well, currently held by the 2007 match between Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya with 2.4 million purchases. Most expect the match to generate at least 3 million pay-per-view purchases, and with a price expected at about $100, that will mean $300 million for domestic pay-per-view revenue. Foreign rights are then expected to lead to revenues of a further $35 million.
In total, that is an expected $400 million in revenue, with the agreement between the two boxers being that Mayweather will get 60 percent while Pacquiao will get 40 percent.