Former President Donald Trump promised “big crowds” for his tour with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, but apparently their first couple of stops in Florida featured a whole bunch of empty seats.
Trump and O’Reilly embarked on “The History Tour” this weekend with an event in Sunrise in south Florida on Saturday, followed by Orlando on Sunday. The tour features O’Reilly and Trump in conversation discussing “exactly how things were accomplished, as well as challenges, both good and bad, during the four years of Mr. Trump’s presidency,” according to the event details for the Orlando show.
“See you in Sunrise, FL, in a little while and tomorrow, Orlando,” Trump said Saturday prior to the first event. “Big crowds!
But photos taken at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise and the Amway Center in Orlando show a different story.
Tickets started at $100, and at FLA Live Arena—home of the NHL’s Florida Panthers—front-row seets and a 45-minute meet and greet with Trump and O’Reilly, plus a photo with both, cost more than $7,500.
But at both events, the turnout was light enough that ticket buyers in the upper sections were told they could move to the lower sections, reported the Orlando Sentinel and Sun-Sentinel. At the Sunrise show, the upper-level was closed and people who’d purchased tickets there were “upgraded,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.
The tour was announced over the summer, and ever since then the duo has struggled to sell tickets in the large arenas they’d booked. Ticketing officials said earlier in the summer that the tour was having trouble moving tickets, according to Politico, and as of Wednesday, 1,400 tickets remained on sale in Sunrise, the Sun-Sentinel reported last week.
O’Reilly told the Orlando crowd early on that it was “not a rally,” but nonetheless lobbed mostly softball questions at Trump, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Trump, for his part, used the event to fuel speculation that he’ll run for president again in 2024, repeating his false claims about winning in 2020 and saying that it “looks like we might have to think about very strongly a third time.”
The tour continues next week with shows in Dallas and Houston. Hundreds of tickets are still available for the Saturday show at the Toyota Center in Houston, according to the Ticketmaster website.
“Just leaving Orlando, what a great event,” Trump said in a statement Sunday following the Orlando rally. “Thank you for a job well done to Bill O’Reilly—the wonderful crowd loved it all. Next weekend, Texas!”
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