Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk to the 11th fairway during a practice round prior to the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 03, 2023 in Augusta, Georgia.
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Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s indoor golf league, TGL, has postponed its inaugural season by a year until the start of 2025, the organization said Monday.
The decision comes after the roof of the new arena slated to host TGL matches collapsed last week. The league said the power system used during construction of the SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida failed, causing a dome structure to deflate.
The accident did not cause injuries or damage the league’s golf simulators and other technology, TGL said. But TGL delayed the season, which was expected to start in January, after speaking to key partners.
“This decision came after reviewing short-term solutions, potential construction timelines, player schedules, and the primetime sports television calendar,” the league said in a statement. “We are confident that the extension will only improve our delivery.”
TGL, which counts the PGA Tour as a partner, was founded by McIlroy, Woods and former NBC executive Mike McCarthy. The trio wants to create a primetime indoor golf league to attract new fans to the sport at as the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, and then its proposed merger with the PGA Tour, left golf at a crossroads.
Woods was optimistic about the league’s future despite the delayed launch.
“Although the events of last week will force us to make adjustments to our timelines, I’m fully confident that this concept will be brought to life by our great committed players,” Woods said in a statement Monday.
TGL has drawn some of the best golfers in the world as part of its lineup. It’s unclear how the new timeline could affect player participation.
The league has also attracted a number of high-profile team owners and investors including hedge funder Steve Cohen, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Fenway Sports Group, tech founder Alexis Ohanian and tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams. Other investors in the league include basketball great Stephen Curry, race car driver Lewis Hamilton, women’s soccer player Alex Morgan, singer Justin Timberlake and pro football’s Tony Romo and Josh Allen.
TGL signed a multi-year media rights deal with ESPN in October to broadcast its events.
ESPN said it fully supports the decision to postpone the 2024 season.
“We have believed in them and their vision from the beginning, and that has not changed. The additional time to plan, test and rehearse will only make it better, said Rosalyn Durant, executive vice president, programming and acquisitions at ESPN.
Source – CNBC