Maybe Trump Fatigue is finally setting in?
There are numerous reports out that Former President Donald Trump’s arena tour with ex-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, dubbed “The History Tour,” is struggling to sell tickets. The national tour, which will feature O’Reilly interviewing Trump, promises “an inside view” of his administration, is set to debut Dec. 11 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Plenty of tickets remain for that show and all the other announced appearances, according to Vanity Fair.
Unsurprisingly, Bill O’Reilly denied that ticket sales are way behind projections. The disgraced former TV host, who was fired from Fox News amid a host of sexual harassment allegations, threatened a Politico reporter who asked him to comment on the reports that the tour was not meeting sales expectations.
O’Reilly told Politico that the tour has already sold $7 million worth of tickets. He added that the duo’s first show in Sunrise is nearly 75% sold out.
“We haven’t spent a nickel on marketing, nothing,” O’Reilly said. “All those 7 million for four shows were done on the announcement. Marketing will start in about a week. Nobody has sold tickets this fast at this price, and VIPs are sold out at 3 of the 4 venues.”
More from Politico:
A box office employee told the outlet that they had expected sales would be "definitely higher" by now. "It hasn't been [selling] like crazy," the employee said, adding that events for comedians Katt Williams and Joe Rogan sold "significantly" better.
You don’t have to be Woodward and Bernstein to see that ticket sales aren’t great.
We looked at the Ticketmaster site and pulled up the Orlando tour stop on Dec. 12. The blue in the map below indicates the number of available tickets. The last time Trump saw this much blue on a map was on November 7, 2020.
Trump’s spokesperson Liz Harrington also denies that ticket sales are lackluster.
“The History Tour has already sold over $5 million of tickets, and the excitement and enthusiasm is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Come December, the sold-out shows will be a memorable night for all.”
But while both men stubbornly try to say otherwise, the truth is the numbers don’t lie. The tour isn’t selling out, not even close. And the simple explanation for it may be that the tickets cost too much.
Standard tickets cost between $100–$300. And many of the dates on the tour are booked in arenas usually reserved for major sports and concerts, so a lot of those seats will be in the upper deck. Better seats down closer to the stage will cost around $1,000. And the “VIP Meet & Greet Package” which includes a pregame reception, floor seats, and personal fan pictures with the hosts can cost up to $8,500.
That’s a lot of money to see two guys in their 70s sitting onstage and talking.
Lack of demand for a former president on a speaking tour is unusual.
A 2018 tour by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sold out within two weeks. Of course, they booked smaller venues, as did former first lady Michelle Obama for her 2018 “Becoming” book tour. That sold out within two days.
Perhaps Trump and O’Reilly erred in booking much larger arenas for the speaking tour, as opposed to more intimate venues. After all, it’s not like Trump keeps a low profile. Despite being banned on social media, he’s started holding rallies again. And when you can see him at one of those events, which are free, and where he largely repeats much of his talking points from the past four years, is it really worth paying several hundred dollars to see him do it?
That may be the question many of his fans are asking, and the sluggish ticket sales may be the answer.