Earlier in November, the purpose-built arena’s air-supported dome partially deflated after sustaining tears following the failure of a temporary power system. That led to it needing to be fully deflated to undergo repair work and, per Sports Business Journal’s Josh Carpenter, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s tech-infused league will not now begin until 2025.
Carpenter wrote on X: “The @TGL is expected to announce later today that it will not launch until 2025 due to the damage caused at its venue in Florida. Postponing only a short time would impact ESPN's TV windows, as well as player schedules. Launch expected to be a similar timeframe in 2025."
The @TGL is expected to announce later today that it will not launch until 2025 due to the damage caused at its venue in Florida. Postponing only a short time would impact ESPN's TV windows, as well as player schedules. Launch expected to be a similar timeframe in 2025 pic.twitter.com/vP3kIxYGhVNovember 20, 2023
Soon after, a statement from the TGL confirmed the delay. In explaining the decision to postpone the start of the league, it read: "The decision came after reviewing player short-term solutions, potential construction timelines, player schedules and the primetime sports television calendar.
"Despite this new timeline for the venue, we remain excited about the future of TGL and will continue to build excitement between now and the start of the season with our players, fans and teams. We have begun to update plans and timelines and are confident that the extension will only improve our delivery."
A Statement From TGL. pic.twitter.com/UncQxfk3EINovember 20, 2023
Both Woods and McIlroy also released statements. Woods said: "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.
"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.”
McIlroy said: “The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement. 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.”
The TGL was scheduled to begin on 9 January 2024 with coverage on ESPN and ESPN+. Meanwhile, anticipation had been building for the 15-event contest, with some of the world’s best players, including the co-founders, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa among its roster.
The prospect of matches taking place over two hours in a stadium that included real grass and a screen 20x bigger than normal simulators added to the intrigue.
Details on the six teams were also finalised with the news Woods would be a player-owner of Jupiter Links Golf Club. An indication of the scale of investment in the teams was also given by TGL San Francisco owner Marc Lasry, with a wide ballpark figure of between $25m and $100m to purchase the franchise.
Those plans are now being put on hold as repair work is carried out on the damaged dome, the extent of which was later laid bare with drone footage from the Palm Beach Post.
At the time of the incident, it was anticipated that the league would not face a delay, while the TGL released a statement saying: “The dome section has been further deflated by our crew and will remain down while they work to remedy the situation. There were no injuries, and no technology was impacted. Other work on site will continue."
However, soon after that, Carpenter appeared to cast doubt on those hopes. He wrote on X: "Update from the @TGL. They now say it is ‘too early to determine the impact on our timelines’ as they assess the damage."
Update from the @TGL. They now say it is "too early to determine the impact on our timelines" as they assess the damage. https://t.co/PGh7CJidP1November 15, 2023
Prior to the damage, the TGL suffered a blow to its after Jon Rahm pulled out of its inaugural season.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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