The delay had been expected in recent days after video footage revealed the extent of the damage at SoFi Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.: a deflated and destroyed bubble that left the interior of the facility exposed. A temporary power system failed overnight Nov. 14, the league said, causing 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,” Woods said in a statement Monday. “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, which had lined up PGA Tour players Woods, McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Patrick Cantlay, now hopes to stage its inaugural season in early 2025. League officials said in a statement that they have already “begun to update plans and timelines and are confident that the extension will only improve our delivery.”
The league, relying on an indoor simulator rather than a traditional 18-hole outdoor course, had recently announced four-man rosters for six teams and planned to begin play Jan. 9. TGL had signed a deal with ESPN and planned to stage its events on Monday nights from January to March, before the PGA Tour season heats up.
That tight window made it difficult to postpone the season for a few weeks or months. In delaying the start by at least a full year, TGL officials said they had to consider 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 was pitched as a weekly team competition with all events held at SoFi Center, TGL’s planned 250,000-square-foot facility on the campus of Palm Beach State College. Crews broke ground on the facility in February.
By embracing the team concept, the TGL was viewed as an answer to Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf, which features 12 teams playing outdoor golf. But it was launched as a complement to the PGA Tour and had the tour’s backing and support. The league was billed as a fan-friendly alternative that would feature mic’d-up players, a faster pace and myriad betting options.
The brainchild of Woods and McIlroy, the league attracted several deep-pocketed investors. Team owners include Arthur Blank (Atlanta), 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 NFL’s 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.”