LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope announced Monday on social media that he recently wrote a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott concerning the future of the Big 12 Conference.

In the letter, Pope addressed issues concerning the University of Texas’ possible intentions to leave the conference.

The mayor specifically addressed his concerns on how this would impact Texas Tech University and the Lubbock economy.

“A weakened Big XII means a weaker Lubbock — less economic activity and fewer jobs,” Pope said.

He asked for Governor Abbott to become engaged in the situation.

His letter reads as follows:

July 24, 2021

The Honorable Greg Abbott
Post Office Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711

Dear Governor Abbott,

I remain grateful for your leadership of the Great State of Texas. I write today to share my serious concerns regarding the news relating to the rumored (perhaps pending) departure of the University of Texas from the Big XII Conference.

Lubbock, Lubbock County, our business community and the entire South Plains recognize the significant economic impact Texas Tech has upon our community and region. Our region is proud of the success of Texas Tech Athletic teams and student-athletes.

In 1923 when the State Legislature decided to locate Texas Tech in Lubbock, there were fewer than 7,000 residents in our community. Today Lubbock is home to 270,000 residents and Texas Tech has more than 40,000 students. We have grown together, with great success. Texas Tech is the largest driver of our economic engine. They are the largest employer in Lubbock and West Texas. Tech graduates lead Fortune 500 Companies and small businesses, they provide great healthcare to urban and rural Texans and they produce agricultural products that feed and cloth our entire state.

A strong Big XII is critical to Lubbock and Texas Tech University. Recent studies estimate a conference home football game means $10,000,000 to the Lubbock economy. Our restaurants, retail establishments and hotels are the beneficiaries of these football weekends. The small, locally owned businesses that benefit from this activity create the jobs that fuel our city. A weakened Big XII means a weaker Lubbock — less economic activity and fewer jobs.

Governor, I ask for you to engage in this situation. Your involvement and leadership are critical to make certain any changes to the Big XII do not have a devastating impact on Texas Tech, Lubbock and West Texas. I stand ready to help in any manner that you would find helpful.

With Best Regards,

Daniel M. Pope