Eric Church Cancels Concert To Attend Historic Duke-Carolina Final Four Game, And Fans Are Furious
“This is also the most selfish thing I’ve ever asked the fans to do: to give up your Saturday night plans with us so that I can have this moment with my family and sports community.”
Country star Eric Church is hoping his fans will understand why a once-in-a-lifetime North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils March Madness matchup is more important than keeping his arena concert date.
The “Carolina” singer announced the last-minute cancellation of a Texas show so he can watch his No. 8-ranked Tar Heels take on rival No. 2-ranked Duke in the Final Four on Saturday, April 2.
“As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the years,” the 44-year-old musician told his “Church Choir” fan club in a message on Ticketmaster, per the New York Post.
“But to have them matchup in the Final Four for the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament is any sports enthusiast’s dream.”
Church was slated to perform at San Antonio’s AT&T Center, the only stop in the city on his “Gather Again Tour.” The concert’s status reads “canceled” on the arena’s website, and refunds are being issued.
“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,” Church continued.
“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.”
ESPN reports that the teams have faced one another 257 times since 1920, but the game will be the first time meeting in the NCAA tournament.
Church, a UNC superfan and North Carolina native, saw the Tar Heels land their Final Four spot live with the 69-49 evisceration of Saint Peter’s on Sunday in Philadelphia.
He signed off with a quote from a quote from late Tar Heels basketball broadcaster Woody Durham.
“‘Go where you go and do what you do,’ thanks for letting me go here and be with the Tar Heels.”
Some fans haven’t been as forgiving as Church might have hoped.
“Eric Church cancels his San Antonio gig for a basketball game and we’re supposed to be cool with it?” one tweeted. “Get a DVR and go @DukeMBB.”
“I’ve made numerous out of town trips to go see him. Mixed feelings. I appreciate his passion for his team but Not gonna lie im pretty mad. Dude didn’t even reschedule. Just canceled it,” another complained.
BroBible rounded up other angry reactions from fans, one of whom called Church the “biggest douche bag in America.”
The Tar Heels tip off against Duke at 8:49 EST at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans on Saturday.