Less than a week after the TGL’s SoFi Center collapsed due to construction malfunctions, the new league announced it would commence operations in 2025 instead of in 2024.
That led Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, two of TGL’s co-founders, to express their disappointment over the news.
“The postponement brings mixed feels of disappointment and excitement,” McIlroy said in a statement on Monday.
“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 inaugural TGL season was set to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 9, on ESPN—the day after college football’s national championship game.
Yet, TGL, together with the PGA Tour and ESPN, decided to postpone operations for one whole calendar year for a few reasons.
First, the new indoor golf league wants to cater to player schedules. They did not want to launch during major championship season when professional golfers dedicate most of their time to focusing on their game.
TGL planned on finishing its inaugural season before The Masters in April.
Second, ESPN wanted to provide additional programming during the first quarter to supplement its current regular season coverage of the NBA, NHL, and college basketball. After all, this league is catered for television.
But ESPN must prioritize its commitment to airing NBA and NHL playoffs once they begin in mid-April. Playoff coverage of these two leagues brings higher ratings and, in turn, greater revenue for the network.
Furthermore, ESPN airs first and second-round coverage of The Masters and the PGA Championship. Therefore, the network needs to focus on airing promos and filling commercial slots for the year’s first two majors.
Thus, TGL would not have a place in the weekly calendar if it began in the spring.
And finally, the damage to the SoFi Center is taking longer to assess, and an additional 12-month period will allow all involved ample time to ensure no further incidents occur.
With all of these stipulations in mind, however, Woods still believes in the future of TGL.
“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.
“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.”