The last time former president Donald Trump visited the Amway Center in Orlando, it was for a free MAGA rally kicking off his re-election campaign in 2019. On Sunday, Trump will return to the Amway Center, but this time supporters will have to "pay big" to see him, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The newspaper notes that tickets for the event – the second stop on Trump's "History Tour" with disgraced former Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly — "start at $100 for upper deck seats and run into the thousands of dollars for VIP packages," which reportedly include “floor seats, a 45-minute reception before the show, and photos with Trump and O’Reilly.”
Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, told the Sentinel: “It’s interesting because one assumes that if Trump really does decide to run for office again, he will mostly hold free events as campaign rallies to try to get thousands and thousands of people to show up. But now he’s trying to cash in, I guess. … And given the cost, it’s the intersection of two groups: people who are big Trump fans, and people who have some money.”
Jewett called the ticket prices eyebrow-raising for an event where Trump will presumably bash “elites."
“I’m sure you’ll probably see some blue-collar people, because even people who are, quote, unquote, ‘blue collar’ make a great living if you’re in a trade like construction, electrical, plumbing,” he said. “But for many blue-collar Trump fans, it’s probably outside their budget, and they’ll probably wait for a free event, assuming that Trump runs again.”
When Politico reported in July that ticket sales for the "History Tour" weren't going well, O'Reilly threatened to sue the site's reporter. The Sentinel reported Tuesday that while most seats on the floor and in the lower bowl were listed as sold or unavailable for Sunday's event, there were plenty of available seats in the rear lower bowl and upper decks.
“If it’s mobbed, I think that just reiterates that Trump’s popularity within the Republican Party and the conservative movement is still really strong. And it probably also would be an indication that it’s more likely that he’ll run again for president," Jewett told the newspaper. “But on the flip side, if not many people show, then I think Democratic and liberal critics will say that it shows that the Trump phenomenon has maybe hit its peak. And that there is a limit to what he can get away with.”