A decent number, but not nearly enough especially if De La Hoya was paid $5 million to show:
"A celebrity who is here in bronze only, Oscar De La Hoya, [while] the live version is in nearby Anaheim, where his company got a $5 million fee from a T-shirt maker so that he would be personally involved the promotion of a mixed martial arts show," Merchant said.
That was big news in the MMA industry, since the entire announced payroll of Affliction’s card was $3.3 million. The paid attendance was 8,946 for a gate of $1,512,750.
If Affliction did indeed pay De La Hoya $5 million, that meant that not only did the boxer attending his first MMA show make $1.7 million more than all of the fighters on the card combined, but that Affliction was also in the hole nearly $7 million without figuring in expenses before adding the pay-per-view income.
Merchant said on Monday that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told him the figure. All sides, though, insisted there was no such payment.
Two weeks out from the event you could purchase ten tickets together in any section. Michael Rome and I both independently verified this, to say nothing of our sources who indicated just how slow ticket sales were at that time. There is also the possibility that Affliction paid substantial amounts of money to "purchase" tickets themselves, thereby raising the numbers on the totals. Clearly a last minute media push helped the show, but there was still considerable amounts of papering. Yes, the UFC has recently papered shows to this extent, but they also followed them up with extremely successful shows in closely timed proximity.
The overall point, though, is that what plagued Affliction before is what plagues them now: financial solvency. $1.5 million on the live gate is very respectable figure, but not when the payroll is more than twice that amount. Affliction is able to produce very good quality fights with quality fighters in a quality environment. But they are depleting their resources in an unsustainable way to do so. The choices here for Affliction going forward are fairly simply: find a way to cut costs or find a way to increase revenue or both, otherwise there will be no choice at all save shutting the doors on this MMA venture altogether.
UPDATE: Let me give Affliction Entertainment one small note of praise. The removal of a musical act from this show was a requisite but welcome change. Aside from the fact that such a muscial act has positively no business opening and middling a MMA show for "entertainment" sake, it's also on obvious financial burden that can be scrapped. By killing off that portion of the show, the overall experience is better and the bottomline is preserved.