Mayweather-McGregor: Why was T-Mobile Arena so empty?

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather’s 10th-round stoppage of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor on Saturday night might be a huge success on pay-per-view, but the scene inside the T-Mobile Arena can be described in one word.


The announced attendance was 14,623, well shy of the 20,000-seat capacity for boxing events at T-Mobile.

By comparison, 16,219 fans were in attendance for Mayweather’s 2015 victory over Manny Pacquaio at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. That megafight generated a record gate of $72,198,500. Despite the empty seats, Saturday night’s fight has a chance to set a new record for the largest gate ever.

At the post-fight news conference, Mayweather said the gate was tracking well over $80 million.

Attendance for Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor fight was only 14,623. The T-Mobile Arena holds 20,000. (Yahoo Sports/Marcus Vanderberg)

Pay-per-view sales were so strong prior to the fight that Showtime delayed the start of the main event due to a number of cable and satellite outages across the country.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe said when asked by a reporter if he considered the sparse attendance a disappointment. “Just sometimes … it’s all about delivery. I think the fans enjoyed themselves, the ones that were here. It was a great event. A wonderful turnout. Not always going to get it right, but we get it right more often than not.”

Ticket prices for Mayweather-McGregor ranged from $500 to $10,000 and sales were sluggish after they went on sale to the general public on July 24.

T-Mobile Arena vice president and general manager Dan Quinn told MMA Fighting earlier on Saturday he didn’t have an answer as to why there were so many tickets still available.

“Every event is its own machine in terms of marketing and demand,” Quinn told MMA Fighting. “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.”

Multiple sections in the upper deck were completely empty, a sight common for an exhibition game and not the biggest fight in combat sports. When asked if there was a reason why entire sections were vacant, Ellerbe chuckled and said, “I guess because people weren’t in the seats.”

Golden Boy Promotions, never shy about taking a swipe at Mayweather Promotions, tweeted prior to the fight that their Sept. 16 bout at T-Mobile between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin is already sold out.

Ticket prices for Canelo-GGG ranged from $300 to $5,000.

It might be the only victory that Oscar De La Hoya can claim over the undefeated Mayweather.

More Mayweather-McGregor coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Mayweather picks up big TKO win over McGregor
McGregor unhappy with stoppage: ‘Let the man put me down!’
Sports world reacts to Mayweather’s 50th career win
Why was Floyd Mayweather wearing a ski mask?