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Posts posted by cybersnyder

  1. 2 minutes ago, IllianaLancerContra said:


    But how much of the membership would bail?

    Which could lead to <110 members, or a fuller Corps with less talent.  Either of which could put making (World Class) finals in jeopardy. 


    Yes. They still have the Cadets name which is certainly tarnished a bit but still strong. But $5k in tour fees ($4.5k if paid early, I think) would probably give some pause. I don't know how to quantify that impact. Personally, I'd wait until the last minute to sign a contract. Hopefully they're being upfront with potential members and it's not a case of "surprise, we're OC this year". That's worst case and people will feel ripped off. Parents especially after writing a big check. Sure, it's not always the parent paying, but you know what I mean.

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  2. The elephant in the room is that, unless I'm reading the 990's wrong and I'm not a CPA, YEA! appears to have been floating The Cadets. So they do make a clean break from YEA!, they need a sugar daddy/mama to field anything but a skeleton show. It will be painful and possibly lethal, but they need to make the break. If I'm thinking "nah" about making my small donations because I don't want the money to go directly or indirectly to the Hopkins settlement fund, I'm sure the big donors are thinking the same thing. Really hope they survive and thrive, but it's not going to be easy.

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  3. 16 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

    People don't go to see OC corps because the quality is not the same a BD. Not because of the size of the corps.

    People will pay to see BD whether they have 154 or 100. Same with much of the rest of the top 10. Its coming to the point that most corps are not maximizing the rules with regards to amplification as they could. A properly mic'd hornline of 50 could be just as loud and sound better than a hornline of 80+ without mics.

    "Its not the size of the Boat, but the motion of the ocean." 

    I think people still want to hear the natural or mostly natural brass sound even if it has some bass reinforcement from the PA. Regardless, I think there is zero chance of the voting members agreeing to a 100 member limit. Each year there are around 3000 marching members. I'm not sure what the stats are, but my guess would be that half march one year, a quarter two years and a quarter three or more years. It's expensive and college ain't cheap either.  Why aren't these people sticking with the events en masse? If they aren't interested enough to pay to see drum corps, there is little chance in growth of the general public beginning to take interest. Increase the entertainment value, increase demand, higher prices for tickets, more butts in seats. But success is now defined basically as surviving a season without using lines of credit much. If they actually began making profits, would the non-profit status be at risk? I really don't think there is a lot of interest in doing more than surviving another season.

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  4. 8 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

    I'm not a CPA so I'm not sure if I'm using the correct terms but, in my mind;

    If you decrease the amount of money you have to spend to earn the same amount of money, the amount of money you take home at the end of the day increases. I guess I should say, decreasing your cost will increase your profit.

    If a corps can sell the same amount of tickets using 100 members than it could using 154, why use 154 when you could be more profitable using 100. 


    The snag comes that you're assuming that the same number of tickets will be sold to see a 100 member corps as a 154 member corps. OC vs WC attendance seems to point to that not being the case. If an individual corps is making their finances work, spend away.  EDIT: I agree with the above comment that the mindset needs to change. On initial thought, something like a budget cap seems fair similar to a salary cap for football, but then there are the nuances of higher costs in California versus Wyoming and some corps need to travel farther than other corps, etc, etc.

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  5. 6 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

    Yeah I mean we all want to see this activity continue so the sooner the corps realize that reducing cost will also increase their revenue then they will start to see the light.

    How would decreasing costs increase revenue? It may improve profitability, although I'm not sure what "profit" really means in drum corps. Seems like "profit" simply means "Oh goody, more money to spend next season!"

  6. 2 minutes ago, garfield said:

    More corps equals more MMs equals more family/friends.

    More shows equals more access in more places for more family/friends/fans to spend more money.

    We need more corps to have more shows.  Anything else is just smoke and mirrors to the income statement (like recently quoting revenue while leaving out attendance so the fact that revenue is up ONLY because of ticket price increases is less obvious, and the fact that attendance is down is hidden completely (except to those who ask)).


    If attendance is down, then that needs to be addressed. Personally, I think the key lies in making shows more enjoyable to the butts in the seats rather than the guys and gals wearing the polos carrying the clipboards / iPads. I think it would be good to have more corps rather than fewer, but if you're depending on revenue from the new corps' family and friends, you're basically spreading more money, but individual corps get about the same as they're now earning. 

  7. 7 minutes ago, BranchHill said:

    Perhaps this? More smaller stadiums, like Middle Tennessee State and, yes, Whitewater. Acknowledging the weather implications. Thing is: they would be less costly, and because they are smaller venues, might sell out more readily. Nothing boosts crowd interest like a SOLD OUT sign.

    For me, both sight and sound vantages are better in smaller stadiums.

    I agree with smaller stadiums. The snag is almost always housing.

  8. I hit the WGI Percussion finals one year at Dayton, it was a total wash of sound and not all that enjoyable from a sound standpoint. (Rhythm X was really cool that year, I believe the show was "Gone". Even though it was Justin Timberlake music, I liked it. A lot.)

    Personally, I think people would rather hear woodwinds than hear a large corps in a basketball arena. I think the smaller field would be perfect for smaller corps, but put Crown on a basketball court and you'll need to wear ear plugs.

  9. 6 minutes ago, DCIat14 said:

    ...and yet increasing member limits does nothing to increase revenue per se as expenses also increase.  Both increasing size and the inclusion of woodwinds face the same issues - large corps or small - it adds increased cost and in reality would likely offset any potential increased revenue.  As others have stated, those woodwind players who wish to be included seem to be finding ways and their families already enjoy the activity.  Can you imagine a small open class corps having to purchase woodwinds, reeds, and keep them up in addition to brass & drums?  Yikes!

    Has anyone here been in a band where you don't bring your own woodwind instrument?

  10. 2 hours ago, Weaklefthand4ever said:

    So just out of curiosity (and this may have already been answered and I'm just too lazy to find it,) what is the draw for major marching band shows like both live and with streaming? From what many here are saying (and it makes sense,) the potential revenue gained is FAR outweighed by the cost of adding additional housing, transportation, staff, food and uniform costs. So the corps lose money no matter what it seems. The only angle I can see (and we don't have to worry about it again until 2022,) would be if the crowd sizes in the stands and online are so amazingly high, that additional shows could be added to increase corps revenue. Someone who follows this stuff more closely than I do would have to clue me in. 

    Efficiency means you maximize your existing resources. So, if you have empty seats on buses, that's pushing up the per member transportation costs because you can't lease 2/3 of a bus or 2/3 of a driver. Food is the other major cost, The cost of chicken patties for 150 or 200 will be about the same, but if the food truck is maxed out in capacity for 150, then going to 200 means you need a new food truck, more people to prepare e the food, etc. By its very nature drum corps is limited on growth. Only about a quarter of stadium seating is sellable. Nobody wants to sit in the away stands or the end zones and out side of the 30's gets to be less desirable. So Lucas Field Stadium has seating capacity of 63k-70k. I believe that DCI reports three day attendance totals rather than daily totals. Maximum number of seats that are sellable on a given day would probably be around 16-17k ballpark. I believe that lines up with tickets sold, so I don't think that increasing size will lead to more finals tickets sold, maybe some more regional tickets sold. Perhaps more relatives wanting to attend finals would mean more demand for the tickets and you could push up prices maybe $20 each and that would lead to an additional $1 million in revenue. But there's a whole lot of maybes in that "analysis", but it's the only path that I see much meaningful additional profit from adding additional members. As a business model, drum corps really doesn't make sense and I think that's evident that it's dependent on donations, both monetary and in labor, and bingo to balance the books. The business is selling instruments, uniforms, show design, and arranging music. It's like when my daughter was doing competitive gymnastics, the business wasn't cheerleading, the teams mostly broke even but they had to take gymnastics lessons which was where people actually made money and a few of the larger competition organizers.

    The goal is increased revenue, but you need to weigh increased costs. I will defer to the wisdom of the directors who obviously know the issues and have run the numbers. If they vote for larger member size, I guess they feel that they will increase revenue without increasing costs too much, maybe they're trying to provide an educational experience to people that they have to cut now, maybe they think that a larger corps size will make rising OC corps less of a threat and cement the top 10-12 in place because they'll be the only ones that can recruit 200. Maybe it's a bit of all of those.

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  11. 43 minutes ago, stevedci said:

    maybe woodwinds has nothing to do with an artistic/creative/programming desire? maybe its aims are 1) increase number of woman members and 2) increase number of members ergo increase number of tickets sold?

    if you added woodwinds, you might increase the max corps size to 200. that would be 1200 or so new world class members. if each members accounts for some number of ticket sales during the season, then  may be a way to increase tickets sales?

    $$$ impact on corps - if average annual fee = $3500 and the average cost per member to be on tour is say just under $2000.... that looks to be an upside for the corps...the cost per member for tour included transportation so ignore number of buses....there would be other cost  that would eat into that net for the corps - equipment, uniform, etc.  On the dci side, there would be increases the cost to house corps on tour and increased difficult in locating places to house corps etc. the increase in logistics complexity would be challenging.

    on the gender mix side -- at the scholastic level, the male/female mix in woodwinds 75%-25%.. at the university level it is closer to 55%-45%... so maybe someone decided that adding woodwinds wasn't going to attract a lot of scholastic woodwind player but was really going to attract male university age woodwind players, not woman from that 75% segment in scholastic band... remember -- world class average age is more than 19.5 and more than 80% of world class members are post-scholastic/high school.....

    is that possible that the woodwind issue isn't being driven by the corps or the creative community?




    Look at 990 filings. For most corps, member fees do not cover their percentage of costs. Adding members will likely mean more infrastructure which will increase the cost / member. If there were no additional costs per member and those members brought in new contributions, then it could be about the money. A more effective means of gaining new revenue would be to ask prospective members if they have any wealthy relatives.