Mayweather vs. McGregor: Big fight, yeah, but there's still tix

StubHub says tix for the boxing match aren't going as fast as they did for 2015's Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. But it could still be on par with some of the biggest sporting events this year.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
3 min read
Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor

Looking online for tickets to catch Floyd Mayweather (left) fighting Conor McGregor live in Vegas could soon be the surest bet. 

Getty Images

Listening to the hype surrounding Saturday's boxing matchup between ultimate smack talker Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the wisecracking Conor McGregor, you'd think this could be the biggest fight of the century.

Well, it turns out ticket sales may tell a different story. As of Thursday, there were still about 1,000 tickets remaining at the 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, said Ken Solky, president of LasVegasTickets.com. If the fight sells out as expected, though, desperate fans will likely try online resellers StubHub and Ticket City, which have about 2,000 tickets combined.

With tickets ranging from $1,500 for upper level seats to more than $24,000 for seats on the floor, Forbes was calling this spectacle "one of the biggest financial bonanzas in the history of sports." It's on par with the Super Bowl and even Mayweather's last hyped matchup, a 2015 bout against fellow boxing champ Manny Pacquiao.

On StubHub, the most expensive ticket costs a whopping $100,250 for a fan to sit ringside.

"That's just an asking price. Nobody is going to pay that amount -- I think," said StubHub spokesman Cameron Papp. Online ticket rivals Ticket City and SeatGeek show comparable prices as well.

Alas, prices appear to be lower on StubHub compared with Mayweather's other big fights. This includes his drubbing of Pacquiao, where tickets sold out within a minute of going on sale. StubHub said that 10 days out it had sold more than four times the amount of tickets for that fight versus the McGregor bout. And tickets on average were selling for about $1,000 more. The highest ticket price for Mayweather-Pacquiao was greater, too; around $35,000.

Still, Mayweather's upcoming fight with McGregor, which began as idle trash talk on social media before intensifying into this surreal spectacle, is expected to net each fighter a $100 million payday. It could also end up as one of this year's top 10 biggest US sporting events in terms of ticket sales for StubHub, ranking up there with Super Bowl 51 and the NBA finals.

And at least for Ticket City, which is one of the top five ticket sellers, average prices for the event have reached $4,200, higher than the $3,900 average for the Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup. Solky, of LasVegasTickets.com, said that though ticket sales had stalled, sales for this weekend's matchup may wind up topping the total from Mayweather-Pacquiao.

There's still a chance tickets could be snatched at the last minute. This is a first of its kind matchup between two combat sports greats. Mayweather, an undefeated boxing champion, came out of retirement to try shutting up McGregor, the bombastic Ultimate Fighting Championship's lightweight champ.

No titles are on the line, just a lot of bravado that's attracting loyal fans and even pop culture aficionados, clamoring to see what happens.

"It's a can't miss event for them," said Ross Steinman, a psychology chair at Widener University in Pennsylvania who studies fan psychology. "There's two different fan bases intersecting here, boxing traditionalists who think their sport is superior, compared to the tech-savvy mostly millennial MMA fans who think they support tougher athletes."

If you can't watch the fight in person, you can purchase it on Showtime Pay Per View in the US or stream the action on CBS and the UFC on your computer, phone, tablet, TV and most streaming devices, including Xbox One, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android and Roku.