Trump campaign's claim of 1M ticket requests for Tulsa rally disputed, people book seats 'to not show up'
US President Donald Trump's campaign has announced that they received over one million ticket requests for their June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, the venue where the rally is to be held, the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center, has a seating capacity of just over 19,000.
The Trump campaign's rally has been deep in controversy since it was announced. It was initially set to be held on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, amid ongoing protests against police brutality towards African-Americans. Further, public health experts had also warned that such a densely packed crowd in an indoor setting could have dire public health implications as the US begins to experience the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
As such, when one signs up for tickets to Trump's rally in Tulsa on June 20, a warning is issued: "By attending the Rally, you & any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19 & agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of affiliates."
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said he’s asked the campaign to consider a larger, outdoor venue to accommodate those who have signed up to attend the rally.
Many took to the internet to express their disbelief that the rally will be open to over a million attendees given BOK Center's seating capacity. One user wrote, "Place only for 19K, but if you sign up, get ready from spam email." Another wrote, "The Trump campaign has just announced that the number of tickets reserved for Trump’s rally exceeds the venue size by a factor of 20 and is greater than the population of Tulsa itself. But I’m sure it’s all legit."
A user wrote, "Hahahahahahahaha!!!! Ohmygod, that is so funny. And 1 million requests for a small venue? Uh-huh...sure. Sounds like that news is from the same organization spreading news that Seattle is out of control. Thanks, Bot!" Another opined, "The Trump campaign is saying that a million people have requested tickets to a rally being held in a city with 400k residents and a state with a total population of 4 million. Jesus... how stupid do they think we are?"
Meanwhile, some have resorted to trolling the rally, joking that they will reserve tickets and not show up to leave empty seats. One user tweeted, "Hey guys! You can reserve tickets to Trump’s rallies online. Wouldn’t it be terrible if we all reserved seats and then just didn’t go?? It would be soooo bad for him to come to Oklahoma and find a bunch of empty seats!!! I would certainly hate for that to happen!!! How awful!!" Another wrote, "It would be a shame if all the kpop stans reserves tickets for the trump rally and just didn’t show up."
Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale had earlier tweeted, "Just passed 800,000 tickets. Biggest data haul and rally signup of all time by 10x. Saturday is going to be amazing!" A user interpreted this, writing, "Brad Parscale gave away the scam when he tweeted, “Just passed 800,000 tickets. Biggest data haul & rally signup of all time by 10x.” keywords: “data haul.” The Trump campaign has people sign up for tickets that it can’t grant, & puts them on mailing lists for donations."
Further, many suspect that the Trump campaign is hiring actors to hold signs at his rally on June 20. Soon after the rally was announced, a screenshot of an actual Craigslist advertisement seeking “Excited and enthusiastic MINORITY Actors and Actresses” to “hold signs” at an event in Tulsa, Oklahoma began to make the rounds on social media.
The ad, which has since been taken down, also placed the location for the gig at “Third St near Denver Ave,” which is across the street from the Bok Center where Trump’s rally will be held. The ad also offered $10 as compensation, but it’s unclear whether that amount is hourly, or for one day of work.
Social media users began to connect the Craigslist ad to Trump's rally as the ad reflected the same date. A user wrote, "Trump's campaign put out conflicting figures on how many tickets have been registered for their June 20 rally in Tulsa. Campaign manager Brad Parscale claims 800,000 people registered for tickets despite the DOK Center seating just over 19,000. Now they need actors. Unbelievable." Another tweeted, "I wonder how many are supporters vs protesters and paid actors. Trump claims a million people requested tickets for Tulsa rally — 2.5 times population of the city."