In an odd twist, University of Texas Athletic Director Mike Perrin has notified its ticket vendor, Aspire, that the athletic department intends to exit its contract nearly four years early.
Texas AD Mike Perrin’s Aspire Drama Causes Speculation
Aspire has countered by saying that it intends to continue operating under the terms of the contract on the school’s campus. Legal action may be forthcoming, and the situation has raised many questions.
Why does Perrin want to fire Aspire?
The short answer is that we don’t have a clue. Perrin has declined interview requests on the matter thus far.
According to Aspire, the firm has been performing up to standard. Sales goals, agreed upon by Texas, have been surpassed. Waste has been eliminated and processes have been streamlined.
It’s possible that there could be a competing firm who has bid the job at a lower price. Texas is currently paying Aspire nearly $27,000 a month on top of providing office space and supplies.
It’s possible that there could be performance issues that Aspire understandably wouldn’t make public. It’s also understandable why Perrin would be mum on these issues for now, pending possible litigation.
Another possibility is that Perrin simply wants to open Texas up to the process of bidding, and thus reduce the overhead cost. Aspire says that reaching its sales goals have automatically triggered a three-year extension with Texas.
More information will become public if legal action is undertaken, but for now, we are in the dark as to Perrin’s logic.
What could happen if both sides stick to their guns?
The legal wheels are probably already turning for both sides, as it’s likely that both parties have their counsel engaged in the discovery phase.
As the situation stands right now, the ball is in Perrin’s court. If he decides not to honor the automatic extension that Aspire already feels it has earned, then that would force some kind of action.
If Aspire’s counsel concludes that it has an airtight case to force Texas to pay a substantial penalty for ending the contract early, they could sue for breach of contract.
The onus would be on Aspire to prove that it had fulfilled its responsibilities in the contract and that there are no other provisions allowing Texas to exit. Texas’ case would be to convince a judge of the opposing viewpoints.
As always, there is the possibility of a settlement. Whether or not Aspire would accept that depends on the amount of the settlement as compared to the remaining value of the contract. Settling would allow Aspire to avoid the cost of a suit.
How quickly could something happen and what could it mean for fans?
The discovery process and legal posturing can often take months in situations like this. In the meantime, don’t expect Aspire to change its position. It will likely be business as usual at Texas for several months.
If a settlement is reached or Texas is in some way able to change ticket vendors, a new system for purchasing tickets could be put in place. While a new vendor’s system is unlikely to reinvent the wheel, there would be personnel changes at the very least.
Perrin’s logic and aim in this move are unknown right now. They will become clear as the drama unfolds. If the short-term cost is outweighed by the long-term benefit, Perrin will have done his job.