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Photo by Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

For the 12th Man: Philip Gomez and others willing to give up tickets for students

August 5, 2020

The series of life events for Philip Gomez has been very similar to those of many Aggies.

He got his degree from Texas A&M (Industrial Distribution, class of ’99). He got a job. He got football season tickets. He got married. He now has three children.

Starting a family is always a milestone in life, but let’s not bury the lede here: He got football season tickets.

“I would say I’m a pretty hardcore fan. I live and die with A&M,” said the 43-year-old Gomez. “I’m always on TexAgs. I guess I’m a lurker. I just want to read, and I listen to the podcasts.

“I still have my hair short. I’m usually wearing an Aggie shirt of some sort. I have two Benjamin Knox posters in my office. My study is full of Aggie memorabilia.”

Gomez first bought season tickets in 2000. They weren’t choice seats: located in the corner of the north endzone’s upper deck. The view wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the one he had while a member of the Corps of Cadets.

But he was just starting his career. The funds were not yet available to make the donations needed for access to prime seats.

Courtesy of Philip Gomez
Gomez usually divides his 11 tickets between family and work, but he’s willing to share with the 12th Man in 2020.

As his career progressed, the budget grew. Gomez now has six club-level season tickets. He also has five in the third deck of the west side.

Some tickets are used for business purposes, but he always saves five for himself, his wife Rachel, and their children: Evan, Joshua and Gracelyn, who range in age from 11 to 5.

“Aggie football is something we do together as a family,” Gomez said. “We’ve been doing that since they’ve been babies. It’s an event we look forward to as a family.”

Yet, he’s willing to surrender some of those tickets if more students would be able to attend games at Kyle Field this season.

You know the situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused those leading collegiate sports to take safety precautions. Seasons have been delayed. Games have been canceled. Attendance (if allowed at all) will be reduced.

Though Kyle Field seats 102,733 for Texas A&M football games, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has limited stadium capacity to 50 percent. At present, A&M is planning on Kyle Field operating at half-capacity this fall. That, too, might be a bit ambitious.

But at 50 percent capacity, Kyle Field could include more than 51,000 fans, which isn’t bad. More than 90 FBS football teams averaged fewer than 51,000 fans in 2019.

A&M leads the world in student attendance. As many as 34,000 tickets for A&M students are reserved for each game.

But A&M has also sold about 45,000 season tickets. Those are purchased by generous alums, many of whom make sizable donations that help cover the athletic department’s substantial expenses.

How does Texas A&M’s director of athletics Ross Bjork tell generous donors they cannot attend games? Fortunately, he probably won’t have to.

According to sources, A&M has not yet sold even sold half of the allotted student sports passes.

Further, there are fans like Gomez who are willing to surrender their tickets if it means more students in attendance. He made that clear via Twitter last week.

“If they give us the option, I gladly give up my 6 Club and 5 Third Deck Armchair tickets to the students,” Gomez tweeted.

That’s a nice gesture. And Gomez maintains he isn’t the only A&M season-ticket holder willing to make that sacrifice.

“Some ticket holders I know are more than willing to give up their tickets so students can go,” Gomez said. “There’s a lot of middle-aged Aggies that have young families. They’re still on the fence of what to do about sending their kids to schools.”

Gomez admitted the COVID-19 threat is part of the reason why he is willing to give up his tickets. He doesn’t want to put his children in an environment that’s not 100 percent safe.

He also said the games could not be as exciting without a significant student presence.

“Students bring an atmosphere to the game that some of the older Ags just don’t bring. They need to be a part of that pageantry per se,” Gomez said. “My theory is their time as a student is very limited. This is a one-time historical event that, hopefully, we never have to see again. My view is you might as well — if we’re able to — let the students go.”

Discussion from...

For the 12th Man: Philip Gomez and others willing to give up tickets for students

13,704 Views | 9 Replies | Last: 3 yr ago by gocobra
Dudus Duodecim
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Good article - let's make it happen. With about 50 years of regular attendance I hate to take a break now ... but am willing if it means we put the 12th Man in the stands.
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I can't tell from the article if Gomez and the others are talking about buying tickets and then donating them to students

Or not buying tickets (and seat donation) and then letting students buy them at 1/2 price with no seat donation.

One was is very generous and allows athletic department to meet most financial needs.

The other way bankrupts the department
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Good idea Phillip and thanks for sharing Olin. Phillip, let your fellow Kyle Field neighbors know they should stand with the students. Maybe after all this COVID sitting...standing won't be a bad thing.
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Push, fish Gomez!
Dudus Duodecim
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For most of the replies, it means giving up the tickets purchased earlier this year - helping the programs survive.
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I'm in for this!!! #GigEm
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You'd have to still buy the seats, but create a priority points program bonus for those who maintain their seats but allow them to be used for student ticket pull. You wouldn't need all of them, maybe 15,000-17,500 or so.
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munch96 said:

Push, fish Gomez!
My PTSD kicked in just now.. thought my fish buddy was in the hallway with me.
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Kind offer. Students need to be at the game.....AND YELL!!!
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