Brandon Bell/Getty; Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock Donald Trump (left), Bill O'Reilly
Donald Trump's upcoming stadium tour with conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly might not be as full as the former president would like, with a new report claiming ticket sales for the events are lackluster. The former president and former Fox News host, meanwhile, dispute those reports, saying marketing for the events hasn't yet begun in earnest.
O'Reilly, 71, and Trump, 75, announced their joint "History Tour" last month, saying it would launch in December with events in four cities: Sunrise and Orlando, Florida and Houston and Dallas, Texas.
In a release announcing the events, Trump described them as, "wonderful but hard-hitting sessions where we'll talk about the real problems happening in the U.S., those that the Fake News Media never mention." Trump added that the tour would be "fun, fun, fun, for everyone who attends!"
O'Reilly, meanwhile, said the conversations — tickets for which went on sale June 14 — would "not be boring."
So far, the two men's promises of a "fun, fun, fun" event reportedly haven't been translating to ticket sales, with POLITICO reporting that venue representatives say there are still many tickets available.
"There's still a lot of tickets open," one box office employee in Orlando, where the venue holds 20,000 people, told the outlet, adding: "We have concerts that are doing a lot better than this."
POLITICO didn't report on the exact number of tickets sold at the Orlando concert hall but noted that, by comparison, a Bad Bunny concert at the same venue recently "sold out within two days."
Other venues reported similar news, according to POLITICO, which reported 60 to 65 percent of seats at the Houston venue remain unsold, according to an employee with access to ticket sales information.
In a conversation with POLITICO, O'Reilly said that not all of the 19,000 seats at the Houston venue will be available for purchase. He called the notion that Orlando ticket sales had been lagging 'bulls---.'
A representative of the public relations team cited on the tour's official press release told PEOPLE it is no longer working with the Trump/O'Reilly tour, but a Trump spokesperson pushed back at the notion of lagging ticket sales.
Saying the "excitement and enthusiasm" for the tour "is unlike anything we've seen before," Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington told POLITICO: "Come December, the sold out shows will be a memorable night for all."
On Twitter, Harrington posted a quote from O'Reilly about the tour, which she said would be "GREAT!"
"Without any marketing at all, the Trump O'Reilly History Tour has already grossed more than $7 million," O'Reilly claimed, as quoted in the tweet. "In some venues, the VIP tickets are almost sold out. This tour will be one of the most lucrative of all time."
NEW! The History Tour is going to be GREAT!
“Without any marketing at all, the Trump O’Reilly History Tour has already grossed more than $7 million. In some venues, the VIP tickets are almost sold out. This tour will be one of the most lucrative of all time.” – Bill O’Reilly pic.twitter.com/xeV4wJfS2c
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) July 15, 2021
Crowd sizes have long been both a point of pride and a sore spot for Trump, who has a history of exaggerating the sizes of the crowds at his own rallies, some of which he has previously (and falsely) called the biggest "ever."
One of the earliest controversies during his presidency concerned the number of people who attended his inaugural ceremonies, with Trump claiming "it looked like a million, million and a half people," when speaking to members of the CIA.
In remarks to reporters delivered in January 2017, former press secretary Sean Spicer claimed it was "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe." That claim was not backed up by widely-distributed photos or by the official numbers given by Washington, D.C. law enforcement and transportation departments concerning those who traveled in and around the nation's capital that day.