Following last week’s roof collapse of the TGL’s dome arena, Tiger Woods’ forthcoming golf league will not kickstart in early January, as scheduled. The league will now look to launch on a 12-month delay, circling early 2025 as its new goal.
It was always going to be a tightrope walk to make schedules of 24 players fit nicely on Mondays and Tuesday nights during the PGA Tour regular season and finish before Masters week in early April. Any significant delay would cause a disruption with other aspects of the construction, or even primetime television schedules.
And though it was initially reported there would be no issue from the in-construction arena’s roof deflating, the impact of the delay was enough that the league needed to push back its start in a significant way. Last week’s first statement from the league said that none of the technology in the arena was damaged, but Monday’s statement from the league changed tune to “most of the technology was not impacted.”
“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,” Woods said in a press release.
“The postponement brings mixed feelings of disappointment and excitement,” said Rory McIlroy, fellow player-investor in the product. “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.”
Last week’s dome collapse was due to a temporary loss of power. On a windy night in southern Florida, the air-supported canvas roof deflated, leaving behind a tattered skeleton of what is ultimately a very expensive roof membrane. Dome specialist company Broadwell Air provided GOLF.com with an estimate of what total replacement would cost: $2.1 million.
More costly, in this scenario, was the time it would take. Broadwell estimated a total replacement would take three months. And while TGL had a unique repair/replacement to take on, it did not have three months. It did not have two months. It had seven weeks.
The league was going to host 18 different matches between its six teams, and get all of them completed between January 9 and the end of March. Even starting the league a month later would have pushed the timelines into a conflict with the major championship season, when players are most particular about their schedules.
Instead, golf fans who were anxious for the mixed-reality golf league will have to stay patient. Officials of the league have already coordinated an optimistic attitude about the situation. Take this quote from Rosalyn Durant, Executive Vice President of Programming at ESPN, which had signed on to broadcast the league.
“The additional time to plan, test and rehearse will only make it better,” Durant said in the press release. “We look forward to launching the inaugural season on ESPN.”