Recent reports have made it quite clear that Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will make a pretty penny for their highly anticipated prizefight in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Sept. 14.
Now we know where a good deal of that money is coming from.
According to The Ring magazine's Twitter feed, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer claims the live gate at the MGM Grand has reached over $20 million—setting the record for highest live gate ever:
Live gate is the amount patrons have paid to enter the event. It doesn't account for any money generated through pay-per-view revenue or rights fees paid by Showtime or its parent network, CBS.
To put the figure in perspective, the MGM Grand holds approximately 16,800 people. Using a flat $20 million as the starting point and the arena capacity, that puts the average ticket price at $1,190.48. (There are obviously variables in play that could inflate or deflate that price.)
From the moment Mayweather (44-0, 26 KOs) announced in May that he'd be fighting Alvarez (42-0-1, 30 KOs), the record-setting sentiment was palpable. Mayweather is arguably the biggest individual draw in the sport, and Alvarez has risen up the ranks to become one of the hottest young fighters in the world at just 23 years old.
Coupled with a top-notch undercard between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse, this is one of the most anticipated slates in recent memory. Bob Velin of USA Today noted earlier this week that the initial live-gate estimate was just below that $20 million figure. The original estimate of $19.9 million still would have shattered the previous record by $1.5 million, set when Mayweather fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
Those who have followed the financials of this fight know this is only the tipping point of the record-setting hauls.
ESPN's Dan Rafael obtained the finalized version of the contract for the fight, which guarantees that Mayweather will shatter his record for guaranteed purse. The 36-year-old American will command $41.5 million (not counting pay-per-view buys), just under $10 million more than his previous record. Mayweather earned $32 million guaranteed for his win against Robert Guerrero earlier this year, an amount that matched his initial figure earned against Miguel Cotto in May 2012.
For his part, Alvarez will get a check worth $5 million on Saturday. However, Rafael's report notes that the real figure is much higher—at least $12 million, according to a source.
Next up, the Mayweather-Alvarez bout will have to see whether it breaks the most important record of all—pay-per-view buys. The aforementioned bout between Money May and the Golden Boy Promotions founder set a boxing record with 2.4 million purchases for HBO.
While an astronomical figure—Mayweather's fight against Guerrero drew just over one million buys—the continued hype heading into Saturday night makes anything possible.