Eric Church Further Explains Decision to Cancel Show for Basketball Game: One of Those ‘Unique, Once-in-a-Lifetime Things’
Eric Church caught some heat when he canceled an April concert in San Antonio, Texas, in order to watch the North Carolina Tar Heels play Duke in the Final Four of the NCAA Championship.
Church has since announced a free, makeup show in New Braunfels, Texas — just north of the original city — on Sept. 2, and he further explained his decision to cancel the original show in a recent interview.
Speaking with Audacy's Rob + Holly, the country superstar stressed the importance of that game to him and his family, as they are diehard Tar Heels fans. The fact that the game marked the first time the rivals met in the Final Four and the fact that it was Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski's final season made for a "perfect storm" that Church simply couldn't miss.
The Tar Heels went on to beat Duke in the Final Four with a score of 81-77, and Church expressed his happiness for seeing the moment with his sons.
"The big thing was the Duke game for me," he says. "To me, the championship was against Duke — because of the rivalry, because of what that is, because they’ve never met in the tournament, the final four, and Coach K’s final game — all those things were a perfect storm that I never could’ve conceptualized would’ve happened."
"It hadn’t happened in my life, or my dad’s life. It was one of those really unique, once-in-a-lifetime things," he continues. "To win that, it was a wild week or two. It was just something I had to be there, and had to take my boys ... I can’t recreate Duke and Carolina Final Four.”
"I’ve never been on social media. I’ve never tweeted, I don’t know how to tweet. I don’t get on Instagram. Nobody gives me codes for any of this stuff, so I have no way to get on any of this," he says. "I love listening to sports radio talk, especially during this time of year, when it’s Final Four time. I thought it [the decision] might be getting a little noisy when I was watching ESPN SportsCenter and I was leading on the SportsCenter thing ... I thought, 'Wow! That’s new. Let’s talk about basketball.' I thought that was getting a little bit out of control."
Many of Church's fans understood his decision, however, and he's thankful for the people who appreciated his honesty. Ultimately, the singer says that he wouldn't have missed a show if it was any other matchup other than North Carolina and Duke.
"We’ve been through a lot together," Church says of his fans. "15 or 17 years now and I trusted they would understand, which is the reason I just came clean and told the truth. C’mon, I could’ve said [I had] COVID, I could’ve said laryngitis, there’s a hundred different things, personal things, but I decided to come out [and say] ‘This is what I’m doin' ... What I wanted people to understand, I wasn’t missing a show for anything but a Carolina [versus] Duke Final Four game ... I didn’t know this was a possibility until six days before the show."
This summer, Church will play an Eric Church-centric stadium show called "One Hell of a Night in Minneapolis" featuring Morgan Wallen and Ernest as opening acts.