FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Football season has not started, but the excitement has already hit the campus of Texas Christian University.
Hundreds of fans and TCU alumni kicked off new era for the school as they celebrated their berth into the Big 12 Conference at a midnight party at Billy Bob’s.
“We’ve come a long way and we don’t need to stop now. This is the not the end of the train,” said Gary Patterson, TCU’s head football coach to the hundreds of screaming fans.
Patterson was one of several behind the push for TCU to get into the premier conference.
He head his team to a Rose Bowl win in 2011.
“Our goal is still to win a Big 12 championship in all sports and go win a national championship as a university,” he said.
Being in a high profile conference will mean more national exposure for the entire school and all off it’s sports teams.
“What it means is that we get a chance to compete at the highest level in one of the premier conferences in the country,” said Trent Johnson, head men’s basketball coach at TCU.
But getting in to TCU take on it’s Big 12 competition won’t be easy. There is a waiting list for season football tickets. The school school sold a record breaking 30,000 season tickets for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.
The newly renovated Amon G. Carter football stadium will hold 45,000 people with room for expansion.
Fans are hoping this Big 12 berth is the beginning of the road to a national championship.
“We’ve got the best coach in the United States. He’ll take us to a national title,” said Ray Cherry, a TCU alumni and season football ticket holder.
The renovated stadium will be ready for football and fans by September 8th for TCU’s season home opener against Grambling State.