I will admit right up front that I am biased, since I was part of the marching and pep bands while in college, but having a live marching band and pep band at college sporting events is a valuable part of the gameday experience. This includes pregame shows (think of the tuba player dotting the “i” in the Ohio State pregame), halftime shows (some southern schools have very elaborate and impressive performances), and timeout performances during both football and basketball games. I am a firm believer that a live band can generate as much if not more enthusiasm from the fans than any canned music can.
On that note, I wanted to mention two professional teams that make use of a live band, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens. Here are a couple of clips (note – the audio quality is not that great, since these are fan recordings):
The band is part of a long-standing tradition for both of these teams, but I think that other teams in both football (marching bands) and basketball (pep bands) could benefit from adding a live band to their game experience. The only downside would be a small drop in ticket inventory for the band’s seating area, but this should not be a very significant issue for most teams. What do you think?
Update: TheTicketSalesCoach just told me that the Orlando Magic use both a pep band and a drum line as part of their game experience. If you know of other examples (good or bad), please leave a comment!