(New York) It sounded like the kind of event Mayor Eric Adams wanted to bring to New York to boost the economy: an elite international golf tournament that attracts visitors and their wallets.
Posted at 6:00 AM
But because the tournament has links to the government of Saudi Arabia and will take place on land owned by the city – and operated by the family business of former President Donald Trump – it has come under widespread criticism, particularly from family members of the 9/11 terrorist victims. attacks.
Eric Adams, whose management allowed the tournament to take place, is now under pressure from the city council to change its stance.
Urging the city to cancel
City Council President Adrian Adams and councilman Shakar Krishnan, who chairs the Parks and Recreation Commission, sent a letter late Wednesday to Eric Adams and Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue urging them to terminate the contract immediately. From Fairy Point Golf Course in the Bronx and cancel the tournament.
The letter argues that the city has new reasons to end the relationship after Allen H. Weissberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to fraud charges last month. The city’s agreement with the company requires its employees to follow all federal, state, and local laws.
Public parks should not be in the hands of Donald Trump or the Trump Organization.
Excerpts from the letter sent to the mayor
The letter also claims that “the Saudi-supported heroism harms the families of the victims of 9/11 and offends the public memory of that terrible day.”
Shakar Krishnan said in an interview that the city council, which does not have the authority to cancel the contract, may hold a hearing next week to consider it. He added that he had spoken with the families of the victims about their concerns.
“They agree with us on the urgency of the situation,” he said.
Along with the city
Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said in a statement Thursday evening that the company worked with the city to approve the event.
“We are very proud to welcome the world’s best golfers to Trump Ferry Point,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Many thanks to the City of New York and the Parks Department for their support and endorsement.”
The organization indicated that this will be the second time that the tournament will be hosted in New York State. It was held last year at the Glen Oaks Club in Nassau County.
The golf tournament, a women’s event that is part of the Aramco Team Series, is scheduled to begin on October 13. The course is expected to feature two of America’s most trusted stars in women’s golf, sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda.
Like the LIV Golf Series, which upended the highest levels of men’s golf by poaching some of the best players on the PGA Tour, the Aramco Team Series is linked to the Saudi state corporate network. The Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the series’ “present partner”, and its main sponsor, Aramco, is the state-owned Saudi oil giant.
The Trump Organization argued that the city would have to pay a $30 million “termination fee” to cancel the contract – a possible outcome that “no one should want” said Mayor Adams Maxwell Young’s spokesman.
Maxwell Young reiterated Eric Adams’ position that the event should not take place on the track, but that the city could not legally prevent it.
“It is disgraceful that the Trump Organization agreed to host this tournament knowing how much pain it would cause New Yorkers, and it is frustrating that the contract we inherited from previous administrations provides absolutely no legal basis to prevent it,” Maxwell Young said.
Fears of the victims’ families
Eric Adams’ chief of staff, Frank Caron, has held at least two staff meetings this year to discuss the golf tournament, according to a copy of Frank Caron’s daily schedule, which the city disclosed as part of its access to information request.
Last week, Mr. Adams met with family members of 9/11 victims to hear their concerns about Saudi Arabia’s support for terrorists.
Before the meeting, Brett Eggelson, head of a group called 9/11 Justice, said Eric Adams should move away from Ground Zero and the 9/11 memorials this month. The group also protested that a LIV golf tournament be held at the Trump Organization Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, this summer.
After the meeting, the mayor’s office quietly issued a statement stating that the golf event should not take place in the city.
I stand with the 9/11 community and share my anger at the decision to host this tournament here, as so many have suffered so much.
Eric Adams, Mayor of New York
The Trump Organization’s management of the stadium, known as Trump Golf Links at Fairy Point, has been the subject of a pitched battle with the city last year. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio requested that the company’s contract be terminated following the January 6, 2021 riots at the Washington Capitol.
But a judge ruled in April that the Trump Organization could continue to run the golf course and ordered the city to terminate the contract in error. Mr. de Blasio defended his bid to overthrow the company and urged the Adams management to appeal the decision.
Mr. Adams, a more business-friendly Democrat than his predecessor, did not appeal the judge’s decision.
The Trump Organization will go on trial for tax evasion in October, and Allen H. Weisselberg is expected to be a key witness. He recently pleaded guilty to more than a dozen counts and admitted to participating in a long-running tax evasion scheme.
The council leaders’ letter also argues that Mr. Trump is on the city’s list of guarantors of the city’s licensing agreement and that he himself faces several investigations, including a possible violation of the law on espionage.
“The cloud of legal investigations of a more serious nature surrounding Trump impedes his ability to act as collateral as required by the terms of this license,” the letter said.
Team competition representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
But if we factor in the price of tickets, the competition is far from exciting the interest inspired by other sporting events: adults can get into the three days of the tournament for a total of $10 per person.