Band Not Going To Dallas

Submitted by Brian on April 19th, 2012 at 4:45 PM


Dave Brandon creates the future: the tag: the picture

The Michigan Marching Band has been informed that they won't be going to Dallas, presumably because it puts a dent in the pile of money Michigan will get by selling a home game. Sorry, people who bought tickets. Yes, seats for the band are in the contract. Yes, you've been duped. No, you can't get a refund unless you pay $500 to get on the refund waiting list.

Think about that as you look at a home schedule on which Michigan State is the featured attraction. Dave Brandon couldn't even get the Nebraska game to not be on the road in the same year OSU and ND are. He sold a home game to Jerry Jones because it sounded like a lot of money, then we found out that because the minimum ticket price was $125 he could have scheduled a home and home instead. Jerry Jones is probably laughing his ass off somewhere.

Anyway. I think we should start a Dave Brandon for Governor fund. I'd vote for him! With no ulterior motives whatsoever! #DB4MGov!



April 19th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

People always say that they need to make as much $$$ as possible in football and basketball so we can continue to put out the best athletic products in the country.  This is BS, unless you're somebody who cares about any sport other than football, basketball, and hockey.  What milking the football fans does is it allows all of those other niche sports that tens of fans give a crap about to have beautiful facilities, enable UM to pull other niche athletes that are slightly better than the other niche athletes in their niche sports due to having the facilities that none of them deserve.  Sure, once in a blue moon we win a national championship that hundreds of people will hear about, and it enables us to go from 8th to 5th in the Directors Cup, but is it really worth it?

Maybe it is worth it if you like to say/think "Hail" an extra time per year when we win a randon national championship, but making an extra few hundred thousand here or there is not making 1% of an incremental difference to the sports that 98% of the fans care about.  


April 19th, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

Im not saying they're not great athletes in their respective post had 2 points: 

1) we don't need to milk everybody dry of money in order to have the best in breed of the main sports. They generate their own revenues to cover their own top flight costs.

2) Sports that garner 20 people coming to watch every game do not deserve their own buildings, weight facilities, etc.  The niche sports at Michigan are no different than those in the lesser athletic conferences in regards to prestige, school recognition, etc, so why should they get the best at the expense of football / basketball fans????  Would you be happy if the Lions charged you an extra $15 bucks per ticket just so Ford could fund a major league water polo team's world class weight room so they could more effectively represent the city of Detroit?


And by the way, my brother played a niche sport at UM, so I'm not ignorant as "#$%@."  He would always joke about the ridiculous amounts of perks he received despite playing a sport that nobody cared about.


April 20th, 2012 at 9:17 AM ^

You didn't address one of my claims, but just said that I'm completely wrong....and as the other person said, I'm "ignorant."  That's Sparty argument methodology right there. I thought we were supposed to be better than that.

Keep in mind that you may be biased since your name is MGoSoftball, but I don't consider softball as much of a niche sport.  They get good crowds, cover some of their own costs, and get on ESPN almost every year.

Nevertheless, I would like the people who think my arguments are ignorant / stupid to address my previous question:

Would you all be happy if Ford / Illitch charged an extra $15 per ticket to Lions / Tigers games so they could fund a major league water polo team representing the city of Detroit?  Let me pre-empt the following argument: "It's different."  Of course it's different.  They're different teams, but they are parallel in that they both involve high revenue / highly popular sports milking their fans in order to support another representative from the area's sporting community.


April 20th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

Your Illitch argument is stupid and illogical and a strawman, and you admitted so in this post, so I'll ignore it.

Have you ever been to a women's volleyball game?  It's awesome.  They were nationally relevant (sweet 16, elite 8) in the past few years with a 3-time All-American.  They sold out the joint. Routinely.  They had to turn away students.  Young girls from the Ann Arbor-Saline area would wrap around the building to see their heroes.  The games are fast, entertaining, and fun.  Is this not a worthy cause to fund?

Have you ever played water polo?  Have you ever been to a game?  It's amazing to watch.  Another high-scoring, fast paced game.  Ann Arbor is one of the very few places in the midwest where you can watch near-Olympic quality water polo.  Is that not a worthy cause to fund?

Have you ever been to a wrestling match and seen three-time National Champions?  It's damn exciting when a wrestler, down 1, gets a reversal with 15 seconds left.

The field hockey field and mitchell fields are filled summer-long by high school and middle school teams receiving training from UM student-athletes.

And we're pretty good at this sport called ice hockey.

I could go on and on.

The point is this: these teams all draw crowds.  On big games, they sell out.  No different than basketball, and only technically different than football.  I understand that people may not understand this, but: You have to experience it in person to understand.  These teams are a huge piece to the Ann Arbor area community.  The athletes do just as much community service as football players and in the case of young women provide something to look up to that they never see on TV.  It's ignorant to think they are not worth funding.


April 20th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

...why can't they fund themselves then? Someone smartly said down below-


It's called an open market. Football tickets are as expensive the market will allow them to be.

If they're selling out, ticket prices should be raised. And if tickets cost enough, then they can fund themselves and stop living off the Football teat.  Basketball may not be as full at times, but because people are interested in it, on tv and at higher prices, it funds itself. Hockey too, mostly. 

I don't think it's a good idea to go cheap on these sports just because not enough people care about them to fund them (because tickets aren't enough, and people on tv don't want to watch), but you can't complain about costs for everything and then say "pay for everything else with less."  We just added a new sport that has like 40 people to transport and give equipment to and such.  And some scholly's to boot.  These things cost money. And the sport themselves aren't paying for it.  Doesn't mean they should be cut. Just means you can't be "water polo should have state of the art everything", but "don't make me pay for it."  Either hold back the prices and cut stuff, or go all out, and pay for it.


April 20th, 2012 at 6:47 PM ^

I'm not arguing that.  I'm arguing that those sports aren't worthless and that if you've gone to school here, you know their value.  Obviously they can't fund themselves.  This is an issue over 400k.  The dude's strawman argument was basically if you want to fund the band then you have to raise gate prices.

Football ticket prices are being raised at levels higher than inflation.  That's because they can raise them, no because water polo needs more chlorine for the pool.

I'm not arguing those sports would be self-sufficient.  They obviously wound't be.  I'm arguing that they have value that isn't measured with gate revenue.


April 21st, 2012 at 8:23 AM ^

First, the Illitch parallel being "different" doesnt make it a straw man.

Next, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't have / subsidize these sports.  I'm saying that the extreme amount of perks for the sports that don't come close to covering their own costs shouldn't come at the hands of long time football / basketball fans.  People are entitled to believe that they should, but with that, I say that you can't bitch at DB for pinching pennies.

The whole point of this was to say that the extra profits are not going towards making our football / basketball programs top notch like some people believe.  If DB didnt pinch and gouge to get an extra $5m per year out of football / basketball, the football / basketball teams wouldn't sacrifice 1%.  It's the other non revenue generating sports that benefit from our band not going to the football game and ticket prices increasing 10% per year.

My personal opinion is that they shouldn't.  You can believe that they should.  I am just stating that they are. That is all.



April 20th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Continue subsidizing, but if you're someone who thinks Michigan should have the Taj Majal of wrestling and soon to be lacrosse, then don't be mad if DB is pinching pennies.  

I personally think they should be subsidized, but I feel that bringing the band to a football game and not pricing long time fans / students  out of football / basketball tickets is more important than a niche sport having its own weight room and 10 track jackets per player.


April 20th, 2012 at 2:40 PM ^

Another strawman argument.  Do you think not taking the band to Dallas will have any effect, whatsoever, on ticket prices?  It won't.

It's called an open market.  Football tickets are as expensive the market will allow them to be.


April 21st, 2012 at 9:07 AM ^

They can't just sit there and accumulate profits.  If they actually are "profiting" then they need a plan to spend it since they are a non-profit organization.  

So they won't just follow the open market just for the sake of making profits, since the IRS would have a field day. Sure, the market permits them to charge more, but that enables them to subsidize.


April 19th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

I can see pinching pennies, but sending your school to a marquee nationally televised event without a major part of the Michigan Football experience and brand is just stupid. Instead of an elite program with a storied history, we look like a bunch of cheap amatuers.


April 19th, 2012 at 5:12 PM ^

The awkward moment when you're in the band and you find out on mgoblog. 

This is heartbreaking. What about those of us who had family going just to see us? Are tickets still available?


April 19th, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

If it was not feasible to bring the band to this self-created away game, shouldn't this have been figured out an communicated right away?  Why is this ambush happening now?  Especially after we all saw language in the contract about having seating for the band.


April 19th, 2012 at 5:12 PM ^

Michigan has rich alums, correct?  Like, people who have enough money to get a bunch of band kids to a nationally-televised game because the money-grubbing AD decided he didn't want to part with some of "Jerrah's!" duckets?  At this point, I'd rather have someone not associated with the athletic department step up and shame Brandon a bit.

I think Brandon is a good businessman, but man does he drive me crazy with stuff like this (screwing the band, #goblue, "retro" jerseys, etc.).


April 19th, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

I'm willing to bet the band does end up going.  After the backlash that happens, DB will reverse the decision because he is all about "image".  And the uproar he's about to get is nothing but a negative image.  Just give it some time and make your voice heard, he'll come around.


April 19th, 2012 at 6:18 PM ^

They are going to look soooo much cooler than us.  Seriously, though... recruits will be watching this game and Alabama will have their (SEC-hot) cheerleaders strutting their stuff, with the band playing their fight song, a drumline, etc.  Michigan will have... the football team and hopefully the fight song will get piped in.


April 19th, 2012 at 6:19 PM ^

They are going to look soooo much cooler than us.  Seriously, though... recruits will be watching this game and Alabama will have their (SEC-hot) cheerleaders strutting their stuff, with the band playing their fight song, a drumline, etc.  Michigan will have... the football team and hopefully the fight song will get piped in.


April 19th, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

The Michigan Athletic Department projected a $11.4M surplus for FY 2012 when the budget was published last summer.  See

We'll know in a few months if those projections were met, but on face value, if this is a budget-based decision, then some questions need to be asked about the athletic department's decision in this matter.  David Brandon was responsible for agreeing to this game and the contract signed with the stadium authorities in Dallas.  If he didn't request more money to support the expenses surrounding the band's travel and lodging, then it's his fault.  Secondly, if he didn't consider having the MMB as part of this event--one in which he is hoping to promote the Michigan brand--then I have to question his thinking on that matter as well. 

As far as the matter of having Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State all at home or all on the road each season, part of that matter is out of his hands since the conference does the scheduling.  We don't know if Brandon's reached out to his counterpart at ND (Jack Swarbrick) about getting the timing of the games changed, but Notre Dame is probably happy with the current arrangement since it means Michigan and USC are one home/one away each season.

That means one of two things has to happen.  Either the Big Ten changes the conference schedule so that Ohio State and Nebraska are one home and one away or Brandon does something to alter the series with Notre Dame.  It's that simple.

Keep in mind that if the scheduling pattern holds with Michigan State and Ohio State being one home/one away, having Nebraska and Ohio State one/home one away means divisional play and the protected rivalry with Ohio State might turn out like this:

Year 1 - At Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, At Northwestern, At Ohio State

Year 2 - Iowa, At Michigan State, At Minnesota, At Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State 

We'll know more when the Big Ten releases its upcoming schedules.  If the conference doesn't break up the Nebraska-Ohio State games and make it one home/one away, then I suspect the series with Notre Dame is going to be ended or amended in some manner.  If the Big Ten does make the conference schedule change, then the ND series can be kept intact in its present form (home on odd numbered seasons, in South Bend for even numbered seasons).








April 20th, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

This is an important point. Our home schedule on off years sucks. MSU and Iowa at home is nothing compared to having ND, OSU, Minnesota, and Nebraska all at home. We used to have Penn State on the good home year too. That was some unbalance for sure. At least this year we have Air Force at home, a non-trivial non-conference game. Replacing a MAC team with Massachussetts probably a step down. I agree that Brandon will have to throw his weight around to change it.

How it mostly impacted me though was the year my friends and I lived on State Street, we probably lost over $300 in parking revenues by having the poor home schedule. People were dropping $40+ to park for MSU, vs. $20 for the other games. We could've had like 4 or 5 more keg parties :(


April 19th, 2012 at 9:41 PM ^

Sweet Jeesus Tap Dancing Christ On A Fucking Unicycle. It hurts to think of a brand manager fucking up the brand I've loved for decades with Pop-Evil, Mascots, ads, and no Band.

Nice Brand(on). Rethink this please.


April 19th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^ The Big House: Fielding H. Yost and the Building of Michigan Stadium by Robert Soderstrom. Back in the 20s the fever pitch for Michigan football was growing but the Athletic Depatment didn't have the resources to fund band travel. Donor drives were conducted to fund special trains to allow boosters and the band to travel to games. Times have changed, times have not changed.