Pacquaio vs De La Hoya Gate: $17 million

September 26, 2008

While reports indicate the Couture-Lesnar gate should break new records and exceed the $5 million mark, those numbers seem to pale in comparison to the monster figures being put up by the December fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquaio:

It must be a dream fight — it sold out in minutes Tuesday to the tune of nearly $17 million in ticket sales, the second-biggest gate ever behind De La Hoya-Mayweather.

(Editor’s Note: Clarified in order the put forth the correct Gate/Site Fee Distribution)…Golden Boy Productions is believed to have just completed a “four wall deal” for the fight. A casino four wall deal has many variations, but usually means the talent gets the venue rent free but no money guarantee. The promoter and fighter works off either all or a percentage of revenue from ticket sales. The casino may or may not cover some costs and keeps the gate in lieu of a site fee. It is never both….a casino either gives you a site fee and they keep the ticket gate, or the promoter rents the venue and they keep the gate. The Golden Boy deal is believed to be one where GBP keeps the entire gate in lieu of a site fee.

These numbers are illustrative of a couple of things in regards to mixed martial arts. One is the different financial planes the two sports operate on when it comes to their high end shows. The UFC looks to have a highly profitable run of cards from November to January, but it would take two or possibly all three of the UFC cards to equal the De La Hoya fight when all the monies are finally counted.

The second thing to take from this is the war chest available to Golden Boy in their Affliction experiment. They certainly have the wallet for the deal, but do they have the will? In the absence of a true understanding of MMA within GB, will there be a crisis of faith in their co-promoted cards with Affliction? That is a key question, one that you would think was answered in the affirmative before they ever decided to step into the MMA arena.

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