Despite a Saturday evening statement promising “big crowds,” the first date of ex-President Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly’s joint speaking tour seemingly failed to draw any such thing.
“Many seats remained empty in the cavernous arena,” the Sun-Sentinel reported. “The top-level was closed, and ticket buyers were ‘upgraded’ to the lower bowl.” Even with the upgrades for some attendees, there were still a substantial amount of vacant floor-level seats.
While it remains unclear exactly how many MAGA loyalists turned out for night one of The History Tour, the Sun-Sentinel noted that “thousands” of attendees rolled up to the festivities sporting “red baseball caps” and their “favorite Donald Trump T-shirts.”
The kickoff event, headlined by Trump and disgraced Fox News host O’Reilly, took place at the FLA Live Arena, home of the Florida Panthers NHL team, where tickets went for at least $138 after fees.
After the Saturday tour stop, Trump said in a statement that the Sunrise, Florida, gathering yielded a “great time,” and he further floated the idea of a rally held at the same venue in the “not too distant future.”
In June, shortly after tickets became available for the five speaking engagements, Politico reported that the events were not selling as fast as expected, especially in comparison to other events scheduled at the same arenas. At the time, O’Reilly responded by threatening the Politico reporter: “You put one word in there that’s not true, I’ll sue your ass off and you can quote me on that. You’re just a hatchet man and that’s what you are,” he said.
On Sunday afternoon, the duo’s second gathering at The Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, home to the Orlando Magic basketball team, similarly did not sell out. One video posted to Twitter showed a sparsely attended event with the highest seating deck relatively empty.
Earlier this week, Newsweek reported that “thousands” of tickets were still unsold for the tour, which will take the pair to Houston and then a closing date in Dallas.
Trump’s office, an FLA Live Arena representative, and an Amway Center spokesperson did not return The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.