The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Campus gears up for Michigan game

Justin Tardiff | Friday, September 12, 2003

It’s nicknamed “The Big House” and boasts a seating capacity of over 107,500.

But Thursday morning, the Notre Dame Marching Band learned that Michigan Stadium wasn’t big enough to accommodate all the band members and associated support staff.

The decision, made by the University of Michigan Athletic Department, means that 50 members of the band will be forced to watch the game outside and enter the stadium for pre-game and post-game activities and the half-time show, according to an e-mail sent Thursday to band members.

“In order to have only the allotted number of people in the stadium [350], we are asking for two volunteers from each section to sit out both halves, or four volunteers from each section to sit out one half,” the e-mail said.

The band had the option of limiting the number of members that it sends to Ann Arbor, but this possibility was quickly ruled out due to the organization’s commitment to traveling as a group and issues with redesigning formations to account for the smaller number.

“There would be 50 holes in the marching formation,” said band director Ken Dye. “This is really the only way we can handle it.”

Dave Cieslak, the student president of the marching band, said members were surprised by the decision – especially in light of Notre Dame’s tradition of welcoming marching bands from other schools to the University.

“I think a lot of people are really miffed at the situation,” he said. “We’ve been really accommodating in providing for other bands. We were under the impression that that would be reciprocated.”

According to the e-mail, Notre Dame’s athletic department was unsuccessful in negotiating more spaces but said that it is attempting to make accommodations, using either radio or television, so that band members stationed outside the stadium can still enjoy the game.