Trump's Houston 'History Tour' Event Sees Closed Upper Section, More Empty Seats—Report

Former President Donald Trump and television host Bill O'Reilly's 'History Tour' event in Houston had lots of empty seats on Saturday—although thousands were still in attendance.

The Houston event took place at the Toyota Center, which purportedly has capacity for up to 19,000 attendees. Photos and video shared by Houston Chronicle reporter Jeremy Wallace showed the upper sections of the stadium with many open seats, as well as quite a few empty chairs on the main floor about five minutes before the event was set to begin.

"Lots of room to spread out," Wallace wrote in a Saturday tweet, sharing images of the crowd size.

"Much of the lower section of the Toyota Center was filled by the time Trump spoke. Upper sections were blocked off, and there were plenty of available seats when the doors opened," Wallace reported with fellow Houston Chronicle journalist Brittany Britto in an article about the rally. The journalists noted, however, that Trump spoke to "thousands" of attendees.

The tour held its first stops in Florida last weekend, with events in Sunrise and Orlando. Local journalists at the Sunrise event shared a similar assessment of the crowd size, with the Sun-Sentinel reporting that the "cavernous" FLA Live Arena had lots of empty seats as O'Reilly touted a "massive crowd."

The local newspaper further reported that the top level of the Sunrise arena was closed off and those who had tickets for that area were "upgraded" to the lower section. Photos posted to social media showed the top portion of the arena completely empty, however it was not clear when during the event the images were taken. Empty seats were spread throughout the lower part of the arena as well in the photos.

Regardless, the Florida and Texas events drew thousands of people. Attendees had to pay for tickets, which may have deterred some Trump supporters who otherwise would have participated in a free rally. Ticket prices for the Dallas stop of the tour—which will take place on Sunday—start at $100, according to the Amway Center website where it will be held.

O'Reilly contradicted Wallace's reporting, sharing a photo of a much more packed arena than what the Houston Chronicle journalist showed in his photos and video. "Hey @JeremySWallace, why don't you report honestly for a change?" the former Fox News host tweeted on Saturday, including a photo.

Last week, O'Reilly tweeted that all four shows—the two in Florida and the two in Texas—had sold about 30,000 tickets as of December 13. He said the venture with Trump had raked in about $2 million in sales.

Newsweek reached out to the Toyota Center for an estimate of the total crowd size but did not immediately receive a response.

Bill O'Reilly and Donald Trump
TV host Bill O'Reilly (left) and former President Donald Trump held their third "History Tour" event in Houston on Saturday. Noam Galai/WireImage/Elsa/Getty Images