North Texas Daily

Local bar owner offers football fans ticket package

Local bar owner offers football fans ticket package

Local bar owner offers football fans ticket package
October 15
00:57 2015

Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

@ryan_vance

When walking into Oak St. Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor or East Side Denton, customers will often spot a big-bearded man sporting a backwards hat, laughing, drinking or maybe playing ping-pong.

What many people don’t about John Williams, owner of both venues, is how big his heart is for the city of Denton and for the University of North Texas.

Williams put together a season ticket package for $100 that includes a ticket to all five North Texas home games, a t-shirt and a free beer at East Side after every game. It also included a bus ride to and from the game against Southern Methodist University on Sept. 12.

“It’s a great value,” longtime friend Brent Archer said. “It provides the opportunity to have some of the best seats in the stadium.”

The reason Williams decided to offer the ticket package is a direct result from North Texas switching to Conference USA in 2013.

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East Side owner John Williams poses in front of beer tap handles. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

When the Mean Green moved to C-USA, Apogee Stadium was in violation of the conference’s seating regulations for having seats too close to the visitors’ bench. Because of these violations, students were no longer allowed to sit in these seats, although the conference made an exception for the school’s inaugural season in C-USA.

Williams helped change this shortcoming after the North Texas athletic department tried to reach out to young alumni wanting to attend the football games.

Deputy Director of Athletics Hank Dickenson approached Williams prior to last season about sponsoring a section to comply with the new guidelines.

“John is one of the most astute business people in Denton,” Dickenson said. “His clientele dovetails perfectly into what we want on a football home weekend.”

Williams had been a season ticket holder prior to offering the package and often reflects on the former success of the Mean Green. He particularly enjoys reminiscing on what he calls the “glory years” from when the team would often go to the New Orleans Bowl as members of the Sun Belt Conference.

This love for the program trumps the financial gain for Williams mainly because, well, there isn’t one.

“It’s a sponsorship for us,” Williams said. “We lose a little bit of money selling them at this price. It’s a good deal to go to the game and come back here and have a good time.”

Brent Archer graduated from UNT with a Masters of Public Administration in 2013 and purchased the ticket package from Williams. He said aside from getting a great value, the package offers something intangible that enhances the gameday experience.

“It’s a cause that I support,” Archer said. “Some of the best friends I have made are those from college that I went to UNT games with. This ticket promotion allows you to meet even more people outside of your normal gameday group. It’s these types of promotions and opportunities that are going to get more people into Apogee on Saturdays.”

The relationship between Dickenson and Williams is a product of growing up local. Williams graduated from UNT in 2004 with a degree in strategic management and entrepreneurship.

“It’s a perfect marriage in many ways,” Dickenson said. “This is a great way to keep [recent alumni] passionate about the Mean Green.”

Along with Dickenson, Williams has worked on projects via the Denton Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Main Street Board. They hope to keep this partnership alive, and they only see it becoming bigger and better in the future.

“I was born and raised here I have a lot of ties to the town,” Williams said. “I haven’t left yet and I’ll probably never leave unless I retire somewhere else.”

Featured Image: Williams rings up a beer at his cash register at East Side. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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1 Comment

  1. Jason
    Jason March 24, 10:58

    That’s a very unique and cool idea John has. Oak St. Drafthouse and Cocktail Parlor is one of my favorite hangouts, and even more so now.

    Reply to this comment

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