With identical records, nationally-ranked rivalry programs and students camping outside of Texas Tech's United Supermarkets Arena, it's hard to create a more intense atmosphere for former Tech head men's basketball coach Chris Beard as he takes his new Texas team onto Raider territory for the first time on Tuesday.
Beard, who gave Tech the spotlight with a run to the national championship match in 2019 before swapping schools for a seven-year deal with his alma mater last April Fools' Day, is taking his No. 23 Longhorn basketball program to the No. 13 Raiders for the first time since his departure.
Both 16-5 (5-3 in Big 12 play), the already white-hot rivalry between the schools has intensified enough that now-head Tech coach Mark Adams is asking fans not to throw things at the game.
"We're so excited we're going to have a packed house," Adams said. "We encourage our fans to be loud, rowdy, have fun. But, at the same time, make good decisions and don't do anything that would hurt our team. Don't throw anything, toss anything, on the floor that might give us a technical."
Last-minute tickets are starting at $400 on Stubhub for even the farthest reaches of the stadium. Over 15,000 will be in attendance, including famed pro wrestler Ric Flair, who will be the game's hypeman. And Tech students have waited in brisk Lubbock weather for up to 72 hours for the Tuesday matchup.
and so it begins pic.twitter.com/E7sG5G7d51
— #14 Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) January 30, 2022
And just three years after his national championship bout, Beard was met with middle fingers and jeers as the crew arrived in Lubbock Saturday, indicating Tech fans still are keen on making their friend-turned-foe know his perceived betrayal hasn't been forgotten.
In case you weren’t sure how these Texas Tech students feel about Chris Beard.
Yep, that’s him in the front seat of the bus. pic.twitter.com/QOJuzV6EPB
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) February 1, 2022
Even with emotions running high, Beard said he's excited to play in the aggressive home atmosphere he helped build in Lubbock.
“Part of it, man," Beard told media on Sunday. "Change happens in life. Again, no regrets... Chose to come back to my alma mater and try this challenge, and all of us have the right to make choices. That’s what we did. Have nothing but respect for the fan base and everybody there.”
Today is a Good Day. #HookEmpic.twitter.com/jCzAtnFm7C
— Chris Beard (@ChrisBeardUT) October 25, 2021
Back at his alma mater, Beard has so far lived up to the hype—just days ago, former Texas head coach Rick Barnes was met with flowers and applause instead of jeers as his Tennessee team lost to the Longhorns on Saturday to earn another spot in the national rankings.
But surprisingly, Tech has fared even better, beating then-No. 1 Baylor , No. 6 Kansas, No. 13 Tennessee and No. 15 Iowa State already this season.
The teams' historic rivalry will come to its ugliest—and most anticipated—head yet as Texas takes on Tech in Lubbock in front of 15,000 fans at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
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Flyers are less satisfied with the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport than a year ago, a new study shows.
Research firm J.D. Power placed ABIA at No. 15 on a list ranking overall customer satisfaction at large airports, a slip from last year’s spot at No. 7. Other Texas airports secured rankings ahead of Austin, with Dallas Love Field at third, Houston Hobby at eight, and San Antonio International Airport at ninth.
Dallas/Ft. Worth ranked eight in the "mega airport" category.
The study examined airports based on the following factors: terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.
On a 1,000-point scale, Austin-Bergstrom received 785 points this year compared to its score of 819 in 2021.
Passenger experiences at Austin-Bergstrom have been influenced by population growth in Central Texas, which has brought record traffic and longer wait times at TSA. And a recent power outage at Austin-Bergstrom caused flight delays. Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power., said that consumer satisfaction with flying has decreased overall.
“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices on everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario in which airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated—and it is likely to continue through 2023,” Taylor said.
Bailey Grimmett, a spokesperson for ABIA, commented on the ranking.
“We're grateful that AUS customers continue to rank our airport above average, especially during this year that saw air travel disruption here in Austin and across the globe as airports, airlines and the air travel industry continued navigating the impacts of the pandemic,” Grimmett said. “We look forward to delivering near-term and long-term improvements through our Journey With AUS program to improve the passenger experience.”
That program is slated to bring a new midfield concourse to increase gates and connect to the Barbara Jordan Terminal through an underground connector tunnel.
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By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.