According to a new report from POLITICO, former President Trump “is having trouble selling advance tickets for his upcoming speaking tour with conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly, according to interviews with ticketing officials for the venues.” That speaking tour is set to include stops in December at four venues, including two in Texas and two in Florida, with relatively high capacity at each event. Although time remains until the planned gatherings, “so far, the pace of purchases has been slow compared to other acts, arena officials say,” according to POLITICO’s report.
At the same Orlando venue Trump is using, an event scheduled to be put on next March by the Puerto Rican musical artist who performs as Bad Bunny sold out within two days. Meanwhile, large quantities of tickets remain available for Trump’s stop in Orlando as part of his planned tour with O’Reilly. As of early Friday, not even seats in the frontmost portion of the venue, right in front of the stage, were sold out. Trump is also planning a stop at the Toyota Center in Houston — which holds 19,000 people, and around 60 to 65 percent of tickets for that event remained unsold as of Friday morning, POLITICO reports, based on an estimate from an employee with knowledge of the situation.
POLITICO notes that former First Lady Michelle Obama encountered success on one of her own speaking tours, quickly selling out tickets back in 2018 for events associated with her memoir Becoming. Former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady (among other honorifics) Hillary Clinton embarked upon their own speaking tour back in 2018 and 2019, and tickets for individual events that were part of that tour sold out within a week or two. At this point, tickets for the Trump-O’Reilly tour have been on sale for over a month — and yet, substantial numbers of them remain. Trump has had success in drawing crowds for campaign-style rally events that he’s re-launched recently, but those events are free, POLITICO notes.
True to form, both Trump and O’Reilly’s camps lashed out in response to questioning about ticket sales. Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington claimed, discussing the events, that “the excitement and enthusiasm is unlike anything we’ve seen before.” Don’t those in Trump’s circles get tired of characterizing just about everything as some variation of “unlike anything we’ve seen before”? Concurrently, O’Reilly threatened to sue the POLITICO reporter — Daniel Lippman — responsible for the ticket sales story, ranting: “You put one word in there that’s not true, I’ll sue your ass off and you can quote me on that.”