Judge finds city had no legal right to yank license for Trump's Bronx golf course

John Minchillo/AP Photo

NEW YORK — A Manhattan judge ruled Friday there was no "legal foundation" for former Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to cancel the city's contract with Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx following the Jan. 6 insurrection.

De Blasio administration officials notified the Trump Organization on Jan. 15, 2021, that the city was pulling the group's operating license for the 18-hole course in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx.

They referenced the "actions of Donald J. Trump and Donald Trump Jr." that "incited" the attack on the Capitol as well as the Professional Golfers' Association's termination of the 2022 PGA Championship at the Trump Bedminster golf course in New Jersey as reasons for revoking the Ferry Point license.

They argued the then-president and his companies would no longer be able to attract "first-class professional championship golf tournaments such as those sponsored by the PGA" to Ferry Point because it would be associated with a "violent insurrection against the federal government."


The Trump Organization sued to block the attempted shutdown in June 2021, countering that there wasn't any contractual breach.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Debra James agreed, writing in her 18-page decision that Ferry Point had no obligation to host PGA-level tournaments. The city's claim that it did "lacks any legal foundation," James found.

A Trump Organization spokesperson thanked the court for "its well-reasoned decision based on law and facts."

"As we have said since the beginning, the city’s efforts to terminate our long term license agreement to operate Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park were nothing more than a political vendetta. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio used his position to weaponize the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the New York City Law Department all in an effort to advance his own partisan agenda, score political points and interfere with free enterprise," the spokesperson said in a statement.

De Blasio did not return messages seeking comment.

A city Law Department spokesperson said in a statement, "Anyone holding a city concession is held to a high standard. We are disappointed in the court’s decision, and we are reviewing our legal options."