by Gifford Lee, editor – Fox Sports Venues magazine
Sunday's "Fight of the Century" scored a knockout for Australian venues, with fans flocking en masse to see the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao bout.
Club Burwood RSL was just one venue that reported being at full capacity on the day and it was forced to close its doors at lunchtime.
"I've worked here for 27 years and I've never seen the place this full," Burwood RSL's operations manager David Viner said. "The queue of people waiting to get in before it started went for a block. It was just a brilliant day for us. Every area of the club had a huge day. We wish there was an event like this once a month."
The Sporting Globe Richmond in Melbourne had people lining up around the block before their doors opened at 10.30am. The historic Story Bridge Hotel in Brisbane, who said they never subscribe to boxing or UFC, signed up to the fight "due to an overwhelming response from fans" their Facebook page said.
Japhy Duldig, Fox Sports' pay-per-view manager, said he received great feedback from venues, with some saying it was one of their biggest trading days ever.
"It proved not just the 'Fight of the Century', but also the event of the century for many Fox Sports Venues customers," Duldig said. "We had reports of venues closing doors at midday due to capacity, having their biggest Sunday trade ever, some even selling out of beer. It's great to see major sporting events still draw massive crowds to venues and make it a hugely successful trading day."
Leigh Jackson, Foxtel's sports marketing executive, said the bout is now the biggest commercial pay-per-view event sold to venues by Foxtel for Business.
"This event exceeded our expectations and the number of subscribing venues represents over three times the previous record," Jackson said. "We received feedback from some venues saying they were too busy while the fight was on, with others claiming they had to close their doors as they had reached capacity."