Trump Golf Organization dispute with New York heads to court

The decision to withdraw a marquee golf tournament from New Jersey’s Donald Trump Course in the wake of deadly capitol riots in January emerged as a central issue in an intense legal dispute between the former US president’s business empire and New York City.

The Trump Organization sued the city for breach of contract over its termination in February of the company’s 20-year agreement to operate a local golf course in the Bronx known as Trump Golf Links in Fairy Point — and has recruited some athletes. Famous names to help make their case.

According to a termination notice sent to Trump by the New York City Parks Department in February, “the January 6 actions have destroyed [Trump Ferry Point’s] The ability to attract tournament-quality events, because the Trump brand is now synonymous with rebellion against the federal government.”

The notice specifically cited the PGA of America’s decision to move its Open Championship from Trump Stadium in Bedminster where it was scheduled to be held in 2022.

The city cited language in its licensing agreement with the Trump Organization saying that Trump Ferry Point is obligated to operate a “first-class, championship-quality golf course on a daily fee.”

However, the company argues that it did not include any requirement to host a major tournament. In recently published court papers, the Trump Organization argued that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “has a political penchant for terminating Trump-related contracts” and used PGA’s move as an excuse.

The city supplied several messages from golf stars such as Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, John Daly and Rocco Media. Each similarly describes Fairy Point as “a first class, championship quality golf course.” The Trump Organization also submitted a letter of recommendation from the Metropolitan Golf Association, the prestigious non-profit organization that oversees the sport in the New York City area.

The former US president’s legal challenges are mounting in New York. It could be the Trump Organization criminally accused As soon as the Manhattan Attorney General’s Office reported this week on its account of additional employee benefits, the Financial Times and others reported.

Many star golfers describe Fairy Point as “a first-class, championship-quality golf course” © Reuters

The Trump Organization signed its Ferry Point deal in 2012 with Michael Bloomberg, a former New York mayor, to complete building the course and then run its operations, paying licensing fees to the city. The Ferry Point project took the city decades to complete and Trump’s involvement was seen as a coup at the time.

The developer was thinking about then, including in Interview With the Financial Times, that the site, with its dramatic views of the Manhattan skyline, could be the setting for high profile professional golf events. The course opened in the spring of 2015 just weeks before Trump began his presidential bid.

Trump’s various inflammatory comments after his campaign launch prompted de Blasio to speculate about the termination of his company’s contracts with the city, not only at Ferry Point, but for other New York attractions including a carousel and skating rink in Central Park. The city never followed suit at the time, but believed it had strong legal grounds after the events of January 6.

The association’s decision soon followed comments from R&A in the UK, which organizes The Open, that the Trump Turnberry tournament in Scotland would not be awarded to the British event.

The lawsuit resulted in the publication of correspondence between the Trump Organization and the city in court filings in the wake of the deal’s termination.

The company wrote that its contract “does not contain morality or ‘bad boy’ provisions.” It noted that the city could terminate the Fairy Point contract “at will,” according to the contract letter, but said it would then owe a $30 million termination fee.

The city argued that the contract allowed it to terminate the deal “for cause,” allowing it to evade the fee.

The Trump Organization also argued in the correspondence that de Blasio’s public statements made shortly after January 6 showed that the city’s legal argument regarding the PGA was an excuse.

She specifically cited a Jan. 13 tweet from de Blasio that said, “NYC doesn’t deal with insubordination.”

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