When the Texas Tech football team, or any other Red Raider squad plays at Baylor, it provides a unique opportunity for fans in scarlet and black to invade enemy territory given Waco’s proximity to the Dallas Metroplex. That fact isn’t lost on head coach Joey McGuire who called for the Dallas-Fort Worth Red Raiders to make the short trip down I-35 for Saturday night’s important Big 12 matchup.
“Expecting a great crowd,” McGuire said on Monday. “You know, you go back, when Texas Tech has played at Baylor, it’s always been a good crowd. Our alumni base is so close, our biggest alumni base is so close in Dallas, I’m hoping that a bunch of Red Raiders make it down I-35 and are there at 7 o’clock for that kick. It’s a great stadium to play in. Both teams are coming off of a win so it’s going to be a great game and we get the chance to play another really good opponent in the Big 12.”
Texas Tech fans have a history of showing up along the I-35 corridor
The Dallas Metroplex is home to the largest Texas Tech alumni base outside of Lubbock. Therefore, when the Red Raiders play along the I-35 corridor, whether it is in the Metroplex, Waco, or Austin, tons of people in scarlet and black show their support.
In fact, in recent years, Texas Tech basketball fans have almost outnumbered Texas fans at Longhorn basketball games in Austin. Similarly, Red Raiders have also taken up sizeable swaths of the seats at Baylor home basketball games.
Of course, TCU was so paranoid about all of the Dallas-area Red Raiders taking over their home stadiums in football and basketball that their athletic department decided to refrain from selling single-game tickets for their games against Tech in both sports last year. As one might expect, that drew plenty of vitriol from Red Raiders across the state.
The only way Tech fans could get tickets to see the Red Raiders play in Fort Worth last year was through secondary ticket brokers or by purchasing TCU season ticket packages. Baylor hasn’t gone that far this year, though.
Attendance in Waco hasn’t been an issue in 2023. Interestingly, the Bears have already played four home games this year and, according to ESPN.com, they sold at least 97% of their tickets to each.
That number was aided by the fact that Utah and Texas were two of the opponents to visit Waco in the first four weeks of this season. Tech should draw similar interest this weekend given the rivalry between the two schools and the number of Red Raiders that live along I-35.
With Waco being only 95 miles from Dallas, it is easy for Texas Tech fans from the Metroplex to get to McLane Stadium but the 7 p.m. kick might deter some from making the trip this year as it could lead to a late night should they decide to return home following the game. Still, Tech should be well-represented this Saturday against Baylor.
The Red Raiders have yet to win in Baylor’s new stadium, though, having dropped one-score games there in both 2019 and 2021. This year, each team enters at just 2-3 but the two teams feel better after picking up their first Big 12 win of the season this past Saturday.
Though this game is essentially considered a toss-up by most prognosticators, Texas Tech fans are confident in their team’s chances of finally winning a game on the Brazos come Saturday night. Here’s hoping that McGuire gets his wish and that plenty of Red Raiders are on hand to celebrate a win with him.