A power outage that caused a partial roof collapse at a 250,000-square-foot arena in Palm Beach, Florida, will force a delay of at least a year to the start of a virtual golf league launched by stars Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
TGL, a new kind of golf league that will see players compete inside an arena and on a simulated golf course, was supposed to see its first match played this January but the debut event will now be delayed until at least 2025.
Named the SoFi Center, the arena built for the league was under construction on the campus of Palm Beach State College when an overnight power outage last week caused the dome to deflate, damaging the roof of the structure, TGL said in a statement.
No injuries were reported from the power outage, but construction timelines, player calendars, the TV broadcasting schedule and other factors all contributed to the decision to delay the start of the inaugural season, the league said.
The SoFi Center is a 250,000-square-foot arena that will accommodate 2,000 fans, a 3,800-square-foot putting surface and a 46-foot by 64-foot screen—about 20 times larger than a standard golf simulator screen.
"While the delay is disappointing, the postponement will allow us to regroup, refocus and return stronger," McIlroy said in a statement.
Woods, McIlroy and sports executive Mike McCarley founded TGL in partnership with the PGA in 2022. The season will be made up of 15 two-hour matches played virtually and inside an arena, and 24 players have committed to play in the league including Woods and McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Xander Schauffele. TGL has six teams based out of Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Jupiter, Florida that will each play five regular season matches per season. Investors in the league include the billionaire founder of Fanatics, Michael Rubin, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei and Justin Timberlake, as well as Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal, among other big-name athletes.
Tiger Woods became a billionaire last year and has an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion. Rory McIlroy was ranked No. 15 on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid athletes this year, with an estimated 2023 earnings of $80.8 million. TGL is also full of big-money team owners: New York Mets owner Steve Cohen (worth an estimated $19.8 billion as of Monday) owns the league's New York team; Atlanta is owned by Home Depot billionaire Arthur Blank ($7.6 billion); The Fenway Sports Group, led by Red Sox owner John Henry ($5.1 billion), owns the Boston team; investor Alexis Ohanian, his wife, tennis superstar Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams own the Los Angeles Golf Club; Woods and Philadelphia 76ers’ David Blizter ($2.2 billion) own the Florida team; and Marc Lasry (a hedge fund billionaire worth $2.1 billion), along with Curry, his Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson and former player Andre Iguodala own the San Francisco franchise.