Eric Church Cancels Concert to Attend Basketball Game—“This Is Also the Most Selfish Thing I’ve Ever Asked”

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Videos by American Songwriter

Eric Church is feeling the sting from Texas fans after cancelling his upcoming April 2 show at San Antonio’s AT&T Center so he can attend a basketball game.

In a message on March 26, Church said that he was heading to the game on the day he was scheduled to perform in San Antonio, so he could see Duke Blue Devils take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Final Four for a spot in the College Basketball Championship game at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. The game also marks the first time the two teams will face each other in the Final Four.

In a letter to ticket holders, which was sent out by Ticketmaster, Chuch admitted that calling off the gig four days before showtime was “the most selfish thing” he has done to his fans.

“This Saturday, my family and I are going to stand together to cheer on the Tar Heels as the team has made it to the Final Four,” wrote Church. “As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the year but to have them matchup in the Final Four for the first time in history of the NCAA Tournament is any sports enthusiast’s dream.”

Church continued, “This is also the most selfish thing I’ve ever asked the Choir to do: to give up your Saturday night plans with us so that I can have this moment with my family and sports community. However, it’s that same type of passion felt by the people who fill the seats at our concerts that makes us want to be part of a crowd at a game of this significance. Woody Durham always said, ‘Go where you go and do what you do.’ [T]hanks for letting me go here and be with the Tar Heels.”

The cancellation left some fans, some of who traveled from out of state to see the show, angry as a slew of posts went up in response to the country artist’s cancellation.“$800 airfare for two from Miami to Austin, $950 car rental, $500/night hotel on the river in San Antonio, $2000 for 2 front row tickets (second time) all for naught,” wrote one fan. “I hope North Carolina wins for your sake. I’m beyond disappointed. Damn bro.”

Another fan wrote “If you’re obsessed with basketball, don’t schedule a concert during the Final Four.”

Overall, Church’s fans were a mixed bag of reactions, some even empathizing with his decision to cancel the show. A rep for Church said that the reaction to cancellation from fans is “overwhelmingly positive” on the artist’s “Church Choir” Facebook fan page.

“The response to [Eric Church] canceling his show in Texas to go to the Final Four game is fair,” tweeted fan Casey Young. “I’d be upset if I’d made plans to be there but I don’t think you can really understand the significance of the game unless you’re from NC or are completely diehard for any given team. I’m torn because I truly see both sides and if I had a chance to be at that game, I’d have my ass there no matter what. But I feel for all the thousands of people who were canceled on after booking flights, finding childcare, etc. just to be able to go to the show.”

The show at San Antonio AT & T Center, which has a capacity of more than 18,500 is expected to be a big loss, financially, for Church as well. Some fans questioned by Church decided to cancel the show instead of postponing it for a later date. A spokesperson for Church said that he “could not commit to a reschedule date at this time.”

Photo: Reid Long / Essential Broadcast Media (EBM) PR

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