Fewer than 7% of Buffalo Wild Wings franchises will be airing the landmark boxing match Saturday between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, according to Bloomberg. The handful that are will charge a $20 admission.
That may seem odd to some, given that Buffalo Wild Wings is, essentially, a sports bar. This fight should be its bread and butter. On an earnings call Tuesday, however, Chief Operating Officer James Schmidt said that the cost for the Minnesota-based chain to screen the fight, about $5,100 per restaurant was too exorbitant. "The decision was based on the cost of the fight," said Schmidt. "I think it's about $5,100 a restaurant and so we did not feel comfortable with the cost. And then, also, with the time of the fight being at 8 o'clock Central, for our stores on the West Coast it would be right in the middle of our dinner hour."
Chief Executive Officer Sally Smith said in an interview, "It was extremely expensive." Only 70 Wild Wings franchises of the existing 1,080 plan to air the fight, and they will charge a $20 admission. The fight costs $99.95 to watch at home on Pay-Per-View, which will drive many fans to seek out the fight in nearby bars and restaurants. Some investors are concerned that, by declining to show the fight, Buffalo Wild Wings will be missing out on a considerable amount of business.