LUBBOCK, Texas — Crowds of people gathered outside the United Supermarkets Arena on Saturday ahead of the Texas Tech Red Raiders battling the Kentucky Wildcats. Some lining up more than two days prior to the game.
Ethan Archacki is a sophomore at Texas Tech. He began camping at 2 p.m. Thursday.
“It’s gonna be electric. It’s not gonna be like anything we’ve ever seen before, at least I haven’t seen before. I’m a sophomore so we haven’t had a game this huge since I’ve been here,” Archacki said.
Archacki said he slept in a tent and had not gone home in two days.
“It’s one of thoe memories I’m never going to forget. It’s great. It will always be something I remember. You gotta cherish the memories when you can in college,” Archacki said.
Some students even quitting their job so as not to miss the game. Texas Tech fan, Cheyenne Byrnes said she is a huge sports fan, and although she wouldn’t advise anyone else to quit their job, she believes the game will be worth it.
“It happens. It’s just a job,” Byrnes said.
Freshman Victoria Adeniyi said her friends did not have a guaranteed spot, however, they began camping at around midnight to gain admission.
“We went into a tent. We got a baby tent. We were squeezed but it was okay,” Adeniyi said.
Texas Tech athletics set up two lines for entry–guaranteed spots and general admission. To secure a guaranteed spot, students were required to attend four pre-season games and the Iowa State game.
More than two thousand students met those requirements, including Archacki.
“I’m just dedicated. I’m a huge sports fan. I grew up watching sports, playing sports and it’s just been a huge part of my life,” Archacki said.
Staff began passing out wristbands for those in the general admission line. Mostly all students received one.
“We’ve become a huge, huge, monumental team over the last three years since Chris Beard came. And this will just prove that we’re here to stay,” Archacki said.