Donald Trump couldn’t wait to get back on the road in June. The President, despite the presence of the coronavirus, planned a rally in ruby-red Oklahoma. While the campaign thought they would need an overflow stage, only about 6,200 people showed creating terrible optics.
The poor turnout also resulted in Trump demoting his controversial and braggadocious campaign chief Brad Parscale. To add insult to injury, the New York Times revealed that the event was also extremely expensive to hold.
The Times estimated the final costs of the event at $2.2 million. That money went towards a number of costs including a fee of around $500k for the facility rental. The event only used up about 33% of the BOK Centers 19,199 seats.
The outdoor stage for @realDonaldTrump’s Rally in Tulsa being built.
This will be the 1st time that POTUS speaks to BOTH crowds in person – inside & outside.
If you come to the rally and don’t get into the BOK Center before it’s full, you can still see the President in person! pic.twitter.com/7hoLFgzvLA
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 20, 2020
Shane Goldmacher and Rachel Shorey continue:
“The campaign then paid nearly $1 million in ‘event staging’ fees between June 16 and the end of the month to eight different companies. The most went to Arcus Group, LLC, which received $673,906 in two payments for “event staging,” one a few days before the rally and another a few days after.”
Some of these staging fee went towards creating an overflow stage where both Trump and Mike Pence were to speak. This event was cancelled due to low attendance.
The campaign also paid close to $150,000 to procure masks and thermometers to protect the rally-goers from COVID-19. Pictures from the event, however, show that very few of the attendees bothered to wear a mask. The city of Tulsa saw a rise in cases in the weeks after the rally was held.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.