By W.G. RAMIREZ, Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sixty-million dollars sounds pretty good to Leonard Ellerbe.
Dressed dapper in a white shirt and slacks, topped with a navy pinstriped blazer, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions flashed an occasional smile while addressing the media Thursday at Mayweather Boxing Club.
That was until he was questioned about slow ticket sales for the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena.
"I'm actually tired of hearing that question," Ellerbe said, as the smile disappeared. "Right now, we have over 60 million dollars in the box office. What part of that remotely looks like ticket sales are slow? This isn't a damn Rolling Stones concert. That's the only thing that sells out in seconds. We're talking about tickets that go from $500 to $10,000. That's an expensive ticket."
As of Thursday evening, a general search for two tickets on Ticketmaster's website showed 536 pairs available, ranging anywhere between $1,682.50 to $35,010.09 per ticket.
And with thousands of seats still available, and the fight two weeks out, some believe the next sporting event that will sell out in that venue will be a Vegas Golden Knights game, when the newest NHL expansion team opens the 2017-18 season. Critics also believe with some second-tier seats carrying a five-figure price tag, the pay-per-view fee of $99.95 seems like a bargain.
"We're going to blow past our own record of $72 million; this fight is massive," Ellerbe said.
Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao's "fight of the century" saw live gate receipts produce more than $71 million in revenue at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, easily surpassing the previous live gate record of $20 million, for Mayweather-Canelo Álvarez.
Ellerbe said his ire was raised on his way to Mayweather's headquarters, when he apparently received a message from a reporter, inquiring why tickets were reportedly being sold at Costco.
"When you think about it, is that a bad thing, opening this thing up to a housewife in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas ... is that a bad thing, for it to be accessible in Costco?" Ellerbe asked. "The fact of the matter is we have over 60 million dollars in the box office right now, which is more than double any other live gate that has ever been done. The fight that they have on the 16th, next month, we've got more in the box office right now — double — than what they will have," he said, referring to Alvarez's match against Gennady Golovkin.
"All of these record-breaking events and the numbers that are associated with that, all is because of Floyd Mayweather. A little guy who is soaking wet, 147 pounds."
Mayweather reiterated his confidant's thoughts.
"We're doing crazy numbers, forget what you all (are) hearing. We're doing crazy numbers," Mayweather said. "Our fight is doing unbelievable numbers. The pay-per-view numbers are going to be unbelievable and we will have a sold-out crowd. I'm not worried about that."
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