The golf league started by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy was expected to be tech-forward, with matches held indoors on simulators to protect top players from outdoor elements. However, a power outage damaged the roof of TGL’s Florida headquarters, leading the league to postpone its launch by at least a full year.
The delay was anticipated after video footage revealed the damage at the SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.: a deflated and destroyed bubble that exposed the facility’s interior. The league announced that a temporary power system failure caused the dome to deflate.
“I’ve been a believer in TGL, and as the momentum has built this past year, I’m even more excited about what this can become for fans of the game all around the world,” said Woods in a statement. “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.”
The league plans to stage its inaugural season in early 2025, after having selected PGA Tour players like Woods, McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay. League officials stated that they are already “updating plans and timelines and are confident that the extension will improve our delivery.”
Instead of a traditional 18-hole outdoor course, the league planned to use an indoor simulator, announcing four-man rosters for six teams and beginning play on Jan. 9. TGL had partnered with ESPN with matches scheduled on Monday nights from January to March.
This tight schedule made it difficult to postpone the season, hence the delay of at least a full year, considering construction timelines, player schedules, and ESPN’s prime-time TV schedule.
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“The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement,” McIlroy said in a statement. “Above all, we are happy that no one was injured. We are looking forward to the launch of TGL. Given the circumstances, while the delay is disappointing, the postponement will allow us to regroup, refocus and return stronger.”
TGL had been pitched as a weekly team competition at the SoFi Center, its planned 250,000-square-foot facility on the campus of Palm Beach State College. It was launched as a complement to the PGA Tour, featuring mic’d-up players, a faster pace and various betting options.
The brainchild of Woods and McIlroy, the league attracted several deep-pocketed investors, with team owners such as Arthur Blank (Atlanta), the Fenway Sports Group (Boston), David Blitzer (Jupiter, Fla.), Serena and Venus Williams (Los Angeles), Steve Cohen (New York) and Stephen Curry (San Francisco).
“While this delay has slowed us down for a moment, I’ve always believed challenges present tremendous opportunity,” Blank, who also owns the Atlanta Falcons, said in a statement. “I’m confident this pause will allow TGL to present an even more compelling product, the teams to build stronger brands and audiences in our markets and partners more time to plan strong fan engagement programs.”