Apparently, the only thing that can come between Eric Church and his fans, whom he calls The Church Choir, is basketball.
Church is skipping his Saturday headlining show at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, so he and his family can watch his beloved North Carolina Tar Heels compete against Duke in the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
"This is the most selfish thing I’ve asked the Choir to do: give up your Saturday night plans with us so that I can have this moment with my family and sports community," Church said in the statement provided by Ticketmaster to ticket holders.
Church explained he was a lifelong Carolina basketball fan and had watched the rivalry between Duke and UNC for years. However, he said to have the two teams meet in the Final Four “for the first time in history” is “any sports enthusiast’s dream.”
Church said he hoped his fans would understand since the passion he felt for UNC was the same type of loyalty they showed him when they filled seats at his concerts.
"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,” Church wrote.
Ticket holders were given refunds. Some fans were more understanding than others.
“Unprofessional, it isn't like he's calling in to a factory/retail, etc & taking off for the day,” commented one fan on Facebook. (Grammar and punctuation authentic to original post.) “Thousand's of people had bought tickets months ahead. Some who am sure had took vacation days or traded days to attend his concert. If these fans are offered a refund, normally they loose handling fees. If I was a fan of his enough to go to his concert I would never go. He just showed, if there is something he would rather do, he don't care of the thousands that have planned to see him. Maybe he should have considered the final 4 weekend before scheduling concert for that weekend.
He probably will loose some fans but unfortunately will still have plenty to get rich off of.”
“I love EFC, but I would be livid if I had tix to the show,” said another.
On the other side, fans said they understood.
“I think it’s great!!” posted a female follower. “After all it is a first time in the history of NCAA Tournament and these moments come but once. The most important part about this is Eric Church is going to support The North Carolina Tar Heels! No better reason needed! Woohooo, Go Heels!”
Church hasn’t addressed the controversy on his official social media accounts.