Eric Church Cancels San Antonio Show To Attend Duke-UNC Final Four Game

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

Eric Church Cancels San Antonio Show To Attend Duke-UNC Final Four Game

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM

Duke vs. North Carolina is arguably the most storied rivalry in men’s college basketball: two powerhouse programs a few miles apart, competing year after year for local bragging rights and Atlantic Coast Conference supremacy. The two schools play at least twice a year, and sometimes they cross paths in the ACC Tournament, but they’ve never faced off in the NCAA Tournament, aka March Madness, largely because the committee rarely puts them in the same region. But the Blue Devils and Tar Heels each won their respective regions this year, so they’ll face off this Saturday night in the Final Four with a trip to the championship game on the line. The storylines are extra juicy: Duke’s legendary and polarizing head coach Mike Krzyzewski is retiring after this season, and as an eight seed, North Carolina were not expected to make it this far; they ended the Cinderella run of 15-seed St. Peter’s last weekend. But even without those added layers of drama, Duke vs. UNC in the Final Four would automatically be the biggest game in the century-old history of the rivalry.

Country superstar Eric Church is a longtime UNC fan, and he’s looking forward to watching Saturday’s epic hoops showdown in person at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. The only problem is that he’s scheduled to play a concert Saturday night at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. Or rather, he was scheduled to perform. As TMZ points out, Church announced Tuesday that he’s cancelling the show so he and his family can attend the basketball game.

In an email to San Antonio ticketholders, Church calls this “the most selfish thing” he’s ever asked his fans to do,” while also calling Saturday’s matchup “any sports enthusiast’s dream” and comparing the passion he feels at Tar Heels games to his fans’ passion at Eric Church concerts. He also refers to his fan group as the Church Choir, which is annoying but I get it.

Here’s the full text of his note to fans:

To the Church Choir:

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.

As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the years 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.

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 the same type of passion felt by the people who fill the seats at our concerts that makes us want to be a part of the crowd at a game of this significance.

Woody Durham always said, “Go where you go and do what you do,” thanks for letting me go here and be with the Tar Heels.

As you might expect, some fans have left messages on Church’s social media accounts complaining about the cancellation, including people who were traveling in from out of town and making a whole weekend out of it. Back in 2018, Echo & The Bunnymen tried to postone (not cancel, just reschedule) a concert to watch their beloved Liverpool FC in the UEFA Champions League final, but fans badgered them into playing the gig as scheduled. It does not seem like jilted Eric Church fans will have the same luck. Too bad for them — our own Tom Breihan once called Church “our greatest working rock star.” But honestly if I was Eric Church I’d have pulled the same shit. Best of luck to him and his Tar Heels.

UPDATE: Church has announced a free outdoor concert for people who had tickets to his cancelled San Antonio show. The gig will be at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Texas on Sept. 2. Church says the show will be “one of a kind” and details will be released soon.

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