AUSTIN (KXAN) - A popular burger joint near the UT campus may soon be sold.
On Wednesday University of Texas System Board of Regents authorized UT Austin to purchase Players on Martin Luther King Boulevard.
A UT spokesman says they're already under contract to buy the Shell Gas Station at the corner of MLK and Guadalupe.
Both businesses are on the edge of the growing campus.
A countless number of past and present Longhorns have walked through the doors of Players and the restaurant has also become a favorite for many longtime Austinites.
Which is why many say the news is a little tough to hear.
Players is known for its hamburgers and beer, but it's not known for changing much since first opening in 1981.
"We come about every week. Players is just about the best place on campus or around campus to eat my favorite burger," said UT senior Alex Haecker.
However change may be coming now.
"Our whole group of friends comes here Tuesday nights, so when we found out we were all really sad," said UT Senior Kristen Jackson.
Regents voted unanimously to allow UT Austin to acquire the property and a lot next door for a price no greater than fair market value as determined by independent appraisers.
The Travis County Appraisal District lists all that at more than $1 million.
In 2004, the regents authorized the use of eminent domain to buy Players . But the owners didn't want to sell and fought it. The legislature got involved and UT agreed not to take the property by force. But now the university is actively negotiating with the owners.
"I just hope in spite of all this Players can find somewhere to be," said Haecker.
Monica Hernandez and her husband ate at Players for possibly one of the last times Wednesday night.
"It's pretty darn special I mean it really is. It makes me really sad that it won't be here anymore," said Hernandez.
Hernandez has an emotional connection to the restaurant - she calls Dad's place.
"Every year before my dad passed he would always bring us here every birthday, my brothers and sisters and I," said Hernandez.
For her, It's not just any place but rather a place full of memories.
"It's kind of sad that he's passed and now this won't be here anymore and we just can't come and remember him here," said Hernandez.
For thirty years, people have gathered with friends and family for food and fun. Many say it's a one of a kind - a UT landmark and a tradition.
"I think Austin is going to lose a really great place," said Hernandez.
Players owners did not return our calls for comment, so we don't know what their future plans are.
The University would not comment either because they say they are actively negotiating.
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