Eric Church has built a career on putting his fans first, from playing lengthy solo sets to releasing his 2015 album Mr. Misunderstood directly to members of his “Church Choir.” But as a North Carolina native, he’s also fiercely devoted to the North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team.

Church surprised fans on Tuesday (March 30) when he announced he was canceling his April 2 show at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas to spend that time with his family to watch the Tar Heels take on Duke in the NCAA Men’s Final Four.

An email from Ticketmaster to ticket holders for the Saturday San Antonio show announced the concert was being canceled, and included a statement from Church. Ticketholders were issued a refund for their tickets. The April 2 show is listed as canceled on Ticketmaster’s official site, and is no longer listed as a tour stop on Church’s official website.

“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,” Church said. The rivalry between the two schools is among the fiercest in the NCAA.

He added, “This is 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 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. [Former Tar Heels announcer] 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.”

Following the notice of the show cancellation, fans weighed in on Church’s official Twitter page and Facebook page, with some expressing encouragement, and others, outrage.

“You could have at least effing reschedule [sic] San Antonio instead of just up and canceling,” said one user. “I’m a huge sports fan and I get it, but that is not cool, man.”

“Canceling a show to watch a basketball game is one of the most DIVA moves ever. It’s actually embarrassing,” said another user.

“If were you I would play in San Antonio,” said another user. “You are upsetting Alot [sic] of fans that has [sic] planned this for months to come see you perform and now they can’t.”

Others were more understanding.

“You did nothing wrong, Eric. You support your team at all costs,” said one Twitter user.

“If he wants a day off to enjoy his personal life then so be it,” added another fan on Twitter.

Church’s next concert stop on his Gather Again tour is set for April 1 in Fort Worth, Texas, followed by an April 9 stop at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

A representative for Church said the singer could not commit to a rescheduled date at this time.

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