In 2015, the last time Michigan hosted both MSU and OSU, the Michigan Marching Band did not travel to a single regular season game that was not in Ann Arbor.
I think this is a shame, as most Big Ten universities, pretty much all of whom have much less money available than U of M, try to allow their bands to travel to conference games at least once a year. It's a good experience for the students, fans and the atmosphere of Big Ten and college football.
That said, given 2017 doesn't have a trip to either East Lansing or Columbus on the docket (our two guaranteed band trips), I was wondering if anyone has any inside information on the possible options of band trips to away football games this year? Has anything been settled yet?
The Good Game Options:
- at Wisconsin, November 18th. The University of Wisconsin sent their band to Ann Arbor in 2016, so this is feasible travel wise. Additionally, Michigan has not visited Madison since 2009 (our longest current hiatus from any Big Ten campus) and this very easily could be a top ten matchup; seems like as good an occasion as any for a band trip.
- at Penn State, October 21st. Obviously, this will be our most pivotal road Big Ten East matchup, in a great environment. Would be lovely to hear The Victors playing over a quieted PSU White Out. Yes, the logistics can be a little tricky, but Penn State sent their full band to the last night game at The Big House in 2014, so it is also doable.
- vs. Florida, September 2nd (Arlington, Texas). Obviously, this is the most expensive trip of the three "good" options and it's probably the least important game. I know that our last game at Cowboy Stadium in 2012 included the band after lots of Dave Brandon outrage; has anyone heard if we will be sending them again?
The "Bad Games, but Easiest" Options:
- at Purdue, September 23rd. This is the closest game to Ann Arbor and would be logistically easy, but a snoozer. With our band there, it would be as close to a U of M home game as you'd get on another campus (I imagine the crowd will be not sold out, and close to 50-50, given Purdue's fanbase).
- at Indiana, October 14th. Again, a likely snoozer, but logistically easy/doable. IU very frequently sends their bands to both Ann Arbor and East Lansing for games.
I'd hope that of these 5 options, we make it to preferably at least one, and honestly, I think that two would be best. Especially given we only have 6 home games this year, rather than the standard 7 (or in the case of last year, 8). If you had to pick two of these games that the band could make it to, which would you choose?