The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has thrown a ridiculous amount of money into LIV Golf.
Now, as its second season is just weeks away from teeing off, it’s clear how that investment has panned out so far.
LIV Golf admitted in a court motion Monday that it had generated “virtually no revenue” in its inaugural season, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach. The filing was part of its ongoing lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
While that’s not too surprising considering LIV Golf is extremely new, it’s not great considering how much Saudi Arabia has already invested. The country’s Public Investment Fund spent about $784 million on the league in 2022, former president and CEO Atul Khosla told ESPN last year. That didn’t include the reported $100 million-plus signing bonuses to land top players like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, among others.
LIV Golf is expanding its schedule in 2023, starting with its season opener in Mexico later this month. It also finally landed a television deal in the United States, with the CW Network, too.
Yet spending around $1 billion and not getting anything back — even knowing how deep-pocketed the PIF is — can’t feel good.
The PGA Tour has filed a motion to add both the PIF and its governor as plaintiffs to its counterlawsuit against LIV Golf. The Tour will also meet with Judge Beth Labson Freeman later this month to discuss pushing back the Jan. 2024 trial date.
"The Tour's motion to amend should be denied because the amendment would be futile, would cause unfair prejudice, was unduly delayed, and is obviously intended to inappropriately delay the case and resolution of Plaintiffs' antitrust claims," LIV Golf's attorneys wrote in Monday's motion, via ESPN.
"Delay will equally harm LIV because the Tour continues its anticompetitive conduct while the litigation is pending. The Tour has damaged LIV's brand, driven up its costs by hundreds of millions of dollars, and driven down revenues to virtually zero."
LIV Golf announces team captains, new names for 2023 season
Financial losses aside, LIV Golf announced its 12 team captains for the 2023 season Tuesday.
The season will begin Feb. 24 at El Camaleon Golf Course in Riviera Maya, Mexico. That event will be the first of 14, concluding with the championship in Saudi Arabia in November.
The teams for 2023 are:
RangeGoats GC | Bubba Watson
Ripper GC | Cam Smith
4 Aces GC | Dustin Johnson
Cleeks GC | Martin Kaymer
Crushers GC | Bryson DeChambeau
Fire Balls GC | Sergio Garcia
Hy Flyers GC | Phil Mickelson
Iron Heads GC | Kevin Na
Majesticks GC | Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson
Smash GC | Brooks Koepka
Stinger GC | Louis Oosthuizen
Torque GC | Joaquin Niemann