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Saudi-Backed Golf Tour Bombs at Bedminster: $1 Tickets and Poor Ratings

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One of the most controversial conversations in all of sports comes to us from the world of professional golf, where the PGA has found itself suddenly in competition with a new and financially-stout tour known as LIV.

The only problem with LIV, of course, is that it is backed by the Saudis.  Not only has Saudi Arabia played host to a number of horrid and ongoing human rights abuses, (particularly as it pertains to women), but the attacks on 9/11 were planned and carried out by mostly Saudi nationals.

This week, with the LIV tour visiting New Jersey, it appears as though Americans are letting their opinions of the new tour be known.

The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour has, by any measure, brought no shortage of controversy with it. But judging by the anemic attendance and super cheap tickets available on StubHub for this weekend’s event at former President Donald Trump’s New Jersey golf club in Bedminster, the controversy has not helped its business.

The fledgling professional golf tour hosted just its third event this past weekend, which took place roughly an hour from New York City, and received a ton of free promotion solely from the controversy surrounding it. Families of victims of the attacks of 9/11 — the majority of hijackers were Saudi nationals — openly complained about pro golfers, and former presidents, engaging in such a lucrative manner with the Saudi family who was at least tangentially related to the most deadly attack on US soil in history.

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Just how bad was it?

Turns out that not many people were interested in turning up for the event. Writing for The Washington Post, Rick Maese reports:

Measuring its popularity is tricky, in part because the start-up doesn’t seem concerned about traditional metrics in these early stages. Unlike at other pro golf events, there aren’t corporate logos and signage littering the course. Though the LIV Golf social media accounts are active, there is no television rights deal and no commercials on the streaming broadcasts.

Fewer than 1,000 people were concurrently watching the Facebook Live feed for much of the first two rounds this weekend, while LIV Golf’s YouTube channel was at or above 60,000 viewers for much of Saturday’s second round. On the course, there were far fewer people. Event officials didn’t announce attendance, though most estimates suggested only a few thousand spectators. Tickets sold for $75 per day but could be had on the secondary market for $1 apiece (plus $5.05 in fees via StubHub).

The scandalous new tour was able to procure some top-level talent from the PGA, but it appears that the transgressions of those backing the tour were just too much for many Americans.

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About the Author:
As a lifelong advocate for the dream promised us in the Constitution, Andrew West has spent his years authoring lush prose editorial dirges regarding America's fall from grace and her path back to prosperity. When West isn't railing against the offensive whims of the mainstream media or the ideological cruelty that is so rampant in the US, he spends his time seeking adventurous new food and fermented beverages, with the occasional round of golf peppered in.