Friday morning, folks in Lubbock said they had been waiting in line to get George Strait tickets since 4 p.m. Thursday, excited to get their chance to see their favorite musician one last time.
"We came out early so we could get in line. I've listened to him ever since I've been about her age," said Shelah Wood, pointing to her five-year-old daughter. She was trying to see Strait for a third time and was most looking forward to seeing him in his famous jeans.
"I just want to see him turn around and see his back," she said.
Wood was waiting outside of the Dollar Western Wear on 50th Street and Slide Road along with 50 other people. The store doesn't make any money on the tickets, they just sell them as a courtesy to their customers. Caitlyn Prather is the manager at the store and was on the computer anticipating a large crowd of people coming to buy tickets.
"We're expecting hundreds of people to stop by, but we probably can't get to all of them," she said. "We've had people in line since 4 o'clock yesterday, so there's been a big line and there's lots of people ready to see George Strait in concert."
At 10 a.m. the doors opened and people cheered as they walked up to the cash register, excited by the fact they could almost touch the tickets. However, when Prather went online to begin printing them out, the tickets were nearly gone.
She kept frantically trying to get it to work, but was only able to print a few tickets that were not next to each other.
This problem wasn't unique to Dollar Western Wear - it happened to every business that was trying to sell tickets to the concert. The reason is because Select-A-Seat was sold out in 15 minutes.
Select-A-Seat box office manager Lisa Burns said the reason for the lack of tickets was simple.
"It was so many sold so quickly that before you know it everything went instantly - right at 10, as soon as it hit," she said.
"We are creating a waiting list in hopes that some fan decides they can't make it and we can help the fan who was her trying really hard on the first day to get tickets. There are some Ace in the Hole package tickets that are also available, very few. They are $424.00 and going very quickly."
Lubbock was the first city on Strait's tour to sell out, and that's thanks in large part to presale tickets. There are tickets that were purchased in advance by American Express card holders, Texas Tech Personal Seat License holders, Texas Tech students and staff, members of the George Strait fan club and sponsors of the show.
The Tech students and staff had the opportunity to purchase the tickets beginning yesterday beginning at 10 a.m. as long as they had login information. The current student population at Tech is over 31,000, more than enough to fill the over 15,000 seats at the United Spirit Arena.
Burns said there was a limit to the number of tickets that could be sold, but Marsha Rocha, who drove two hours to get tickets, says she is very upset.
"I tried to get my tickets. I tried calling on my cell phone. I went online to see if I could try to get tickets, but I wasn't successful. I got here to the Civic Center to find out there's a waiting list, so I put my name down, put how many tickets I needed, and I'm disappointed," said Rocha.
"I went back online to try and find some tickets people were selling and they're running about $400, and that's far away seats. Close up is $1,000, and I'm not going to pay that kind of money."
Linda Edwards was equally upset after she walked out of the Civic Center empty handed.
"We thought we'll go down and try. I didn't want to spend the night standing in line for them when I could've walked in and gotten the same thing, but I'm disappointed. I'll just have to wait and watch it on video or something."
We contacted Select-A-Seat to see how many tickets were sold during the pre-sale, but no one was able to get back to us.
There is precedent to allowing Tech students and faculty to buy pre-sale tickets. Select-A-Seat did the same thing when Taylor Swift came to town, but we don't know for sure the exact number of tickets they purchased.
People we talked to did plead for Strait to add a second show in Lubbock, but that is unlikely.
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