Thousands of seats in an Orlando, Florida, arena were empty for former President Donald Trump’s recent “History Tour” appearance with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, according to ticket sales tracked by the Orlando Sentinel.
Only 5,406 of 8,700 tickets on sale prior to the event last Sunday at the Amway Center stadium were sold, according to records at the city-owned stadium. The stadium’s total listed capacity did not even include “vast swaths of the upper bowl covered with a tarp before the event started,” the newspaper reported Thursday.
Hundreds of tickets for the seats in that tarped-over area had been offered for sale as late as Sunday morning, but were suddenly made unavailable and left unfilled, the Sentinel reported. People who had already purchased tickets in that section were moved down to fill empty lower seats.
The Amway Center’s listed capacity for a stage setup like Trump and O’Reilly’s is typically between 12,500 and 17,000, according to the newspaper.
Nearly 800 additional people beyond the number of tickets sold went through the turnstiles, the Sentinel reported, possibly because they had free tickets. But the total was still less than half the venue’s capacity, according to the paper.
Turnout was similarly poor for the event the night before in Sunshine, Florida, where the upper level of the FLA Live Arena was also closed down and ticket holders there were moved down to fill some of the lower empty seats, the Sun Sentinel reported.
Trump aide Liz Harrington had shared a statement prior to the event on her Twitter account: “See you in Sunrise, FL, in a little while. ... Big crowds!” The message was attributed to “President” Trump.
Months earlier, Harrington had insisted the tour would be completely sold out.
Politico revealed in July that ticket sales for the tour were lackluster and noted that O’Reilly had threatened one of the outlet’s reporters, saying, “I’ll sue your ass off” if the information was exposed.
Most tickets for the tour are priced from $100 to $300, but “special access” tickets, which include an opportunity to meet and pose for photos with Trump and O’Reilly, sold for up to $8,500, reported Business Insider.
Tickets for the Orlando event were going for as little $40 the day of Trump’s appearance, noted the Orlando Sentinel.
The tour, which wraps up this weekend in Houston and Dallas, features O’Reilly interviewing Trump. Fox News fired the pundit in 2017 after a series of sexual harassment accusations against him.
Trump told O’Reilly onstage in Sunshine that, as president, he’d discovered the world leaders he “got along best with were tyrants. For whatever reason, I got along great with them.”