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Mayweather vs. Pacquiao most expensive fight in pay-per-view history; bars to charge large covers

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Apr 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-29 23:56:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's being called the fight of the century: On Saturday, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will come face to face in the ring. It's an event five years in the making, and if you plan on watching it on TV it's going to cost you.

It's the highest priced pay-per-view fight in history. Many restaurants and bars say it's too expensive to air, while those who are showing it are requiring a steep cover charge.

One of those businesses that wanted to show it but decided not to is the Trolley Wing Company in Sugar House. They would have had to pay $3,500.

"In my mind, we are thinking around $1,000 which we would have done, we would have probably done $1,500, but we cannot do $3,500; it's not going to work," said owner Jess Wilkerson.

It didn't take long for Wilkerson to do the math. His restaurant seats 89 people. That means everyone would have to spend about $40 each just to break even.

"Believe me, we wanted the fight, everybody wants the fight, we looked at it every way possible and the average ticket for us is about $24 a head," Wilkerson said. "Very few people are showing it because it's not making sense, but those who are showing it are going to have a really good night."

One of those businesses who is jumping into the ring is Lumpys. They already have more than 100 reservations.

"I'm going to have to have someone sitting at the freaking phones all day the whole day answering phone calls taking reservations and making sure we maximize the seating for people," said manager Jake Torres.

The cost of the pay-per-view charges for the fight is based on capacity. For Lumpys, that's close to $10,000. So they are requiring a $20 cover charge just to get in, and if you plan to sit down, you have to spend a minimum of $20 on food and drinks.

"To make sure we make that money back we have to, so we are guaranteed that money, that's why we do that but normally we don't do that at all," Torres said.

However, other businesses commonly known for sports, like Buffalo Wild Wings, are not showing the fight in Utah. While their competitor, Bout Time, is paying more money for this one fight than they did for the entire season of NFL games.

"This is kind of like when the lottery, you know, gets over 200 million dollars and everyone madly goes and buys lottery tickets, this is probably the best boxing match we are probably going to see in our lifetime," said Pete Grimm, Owner of Bout Time.

Obviously if you want to watch the fight but don't want to go to a restaurant or bar you can always order pay-per-view at your house--but that's not cheap either. This fight will cost a record $99.95, which shatters the old record of $74.95. The average pay-per-view fight usually costs about $59.

The majority of this money goes back to the two fighters and their people. Mayweather and Pacquiao are both expected to make somewhere around $200 million each on this one event.