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How the Texas Athletics Department Witheld Tickets from Texas Tech Fans

There’s no doubt Del Conte and Beard led the charge to withhold as many Texas Tech fans from buying tickets as possible.

Photo CC: Houston Chronicle

Let’s start at the beginning. April 1st, 2021. A day that will live in infamy among Texas Tech fans and a day that many vowed to get revenge. Basketball Coach Chris Beard had left for Austin after a hearty breakfast of Egg McMuffin and was in the process of burning down the basketball program he spent five seasons building up. By burning down, I mean taking assistant coaches, attempting to wipe hard drives on the computers, and even taking office furniture (the last one is unconfirmed).

Later he would (unsuccessfully) attempt to steal players from Texas Tech and badmouth the University to every recruit he talked to. A scathing Kirby Hocutt would address the media on that fateful April day and vowed that the Texas Tech faithful would continue to fill up the United Supermarkets Arena and the Frank Erwin Center in the future as Texas Tech fans had for many seasons.

After that, the world seemed to keep turning for Texas Tech and its fans. Texas Tech hired Mark Adams as head coach, and many (including myself) believe the program is in a better spot right now than it was with Beard. However, the story I’m about to illustrate to you is not about Chris Beard, at least not directly. It’s more about what Hocutt said in April, about Texas Tech fans filling up the Frank Erwin Center. When the Big 12 Schedule was released on September 19th, Texas Tech fans circled two dates, in particular, February 1st and February 19th. The later date was the Texas Tech – Texas game in Austin, and a game that many Texas Tech fans in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio wanted to attend due to the location being closer than Lubbock.

When Texas released single-game tickets in October, two games had not gone on sale yet. Texas-Kansas, played last Tuesday, and Texas-Texas Tech, a game where tickets still have not been released. Those tickets were labeled as “premium” and you needed a promo code to purchase them. They were supposed to go on sale to the general public on January 21st, or so we thought. The following is an illustrative form of a timeline so hang with me:

January 19th: The Code Leaks

The promo code that the general public needs to get tickets to the game was leaked by Jeff Brunson just a month before the game itself. He posted a video on Twitter (which Guns Up Nation and others shared) and at the time of sharing, there were hundreds, maybe even thousands of tickets remaining.

January 20th: Texas Ticket Office Stop Sale of Tickets

This one is where the sketchy portion begins. Suddenly, the tickets were “sold out”. Not two hours after most of the internet found the code, the Texas Ticket Office stopped sale of all tickets for the game. When asked why, a plethora of answers were given to Tech fans. Some of those include:

  • All tickets were sold out.
  • There will be a website update January 21st and all tickets would go on sale.
  • The Athletic Director (Chris Del Conte) pulled the tickets in an effort to “figure out a few details” about the game.

The third and final one of those reasons stood out to me. Why would the Athletic Director be handling this? It’s also important to note that as of that day (January 20th), very few tickets were available via StubHub, TicketMaster, or any other third-party website. The Texas Ticket Office became so fed up with the questions about the game that they shut off the live chat portion of their website.

The world had become aware of the situation, with huge brands such as Barstool Sports even taking note.

For nearly two weeks, there would be no movement, no change from where we are at this point.

February 2nd: Tickets Magically Appear on Third-Party Sellers

Well, we’ve arrived to full-blown sketchy. The day after Mark Adams and Texas Tech handed Coach Beard a loss, tickets for the game on the 19th suddenly began to appear by the hundreds on website such as StubHub and TicketMaster. Most of the tickets being added were in sections of the arena that were thought to have been sold out by Texas Tech fans. Almost all of the tickets being sold were going for 2-3 times the amount they were being sold for at the Texas Ticket Office. Still no website update at this point by the way. All attempts at communication with the Texas Ticket Office have also gone unanswered.

February 10th: Comments From Chris Beard

Everywhere he’s been, Coach Beard has wanted to build a home-court advantage. He’s even gone so far at offering free food and cheap tickets to Texas fans to come to games. Most of these offers have gone unanswered but his latest comments on the game really made me believe there’s something more at play than simply selling out the game.

Let’s analyze that clip. Beard says that no Texas Student would be turned away and said that students could even fill the upper deck of the arena. How could they fill the upper deck of the arena if tickets for those seats had already been sold?

February 11th: Twitter Comments from @TexasFancyBoots

Co-host of Fire The Cannon Podcast, a podcast focusing on Texas Athletics, came out with some interesting comments about the game and the fact that the Athletic Director himself has made moves to “ensure the drum is packed full of Texas fans, despite Tech’s best efforts”.

Honestly, it’s gotten insane at this point. The amount of preparation that the Texas Athletics Department has made to ensure Texas Tech fans can’t find a way in is startling. This would be like Duke leaving empty seats against UNC so that UNC fans couldn’t buy them. The issue for Texas isn’t the Texas Tech fans at all, it’s the refusal of Texas fans to buy the tickets and provide that program a home-court advantage.

Interestingly, it took at bunch of Texas Tech fans buying tickets to make the Longhorn fan base interested in basketball again.

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[…] Then, eighteen days later, Tech supporters showed up in big numbers again to watch the Red Raiders beat Texas in Austin. Before the game, so many Tech fans bought tickets to get inside the Erwin Center that UT officials cut off sales. […]

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