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Disturbing DCI rumors


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7 minutes ago, Ghost said:

That's another way of describing it.

Omg Freudian slip or spell check gone wrong.... I meant housing but... hmmm...

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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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43 minutes ago, cybersnyder said:

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.

This is a pretty good pro-forma, as good as anyone's.

I'm pretty simple in my beginning thoughts.  Looking at the 990s, it's pretty clear that the WC corps spend from about $675,000 ($4,500 per member) to about $1.6million ($10,600 per member).  Those corps charging $4,500 in tour fees can probably make 200 MMs work mathematically because they mostly spend around tour fees (and marginally incremental donations).  For those spending the most per MM, it appears that increasing membership is a net loss per increased MM.

There's lots of hair, of course, and lots of proforma guesses to presume, but it appears going to 200 MMs benefits the lowest-spender per MM the most.

I don't really think it'll be the P&L that determines if increasing the membership is passed through for a vote, it'll be the logistics.  I think about the additional space per corps needed in the stadium parking lot.  The housing demands, the cost per additional square foot of school space to sleep on the floor.  Bathrooms.

If I'm still here in two years, I'll be surprised to see increasing membership being seriously discussed.

 

 

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16 hours ago, garfield said:

I don't really think it'll be the P&L that determines if increasing the membership is passed through for a vote, it'll be the logistics.  I think about the additional space per corps needed in the stadium parking lot.  The housing demands, the cost per additional square foot of school space to sleep on the floor.  Bathrooms.

If I'm still here in two years, I'll be surprised to see increasing membership being seriously discussed.

All correct. The numbers, as is, are stretching the infrastructural and fiscal capacities of the corps (and the show presenters who have to find housing, manage stadium parking, etc). Something major would have to happen on the revenue side to make expansion of the membership limits realistic, and I don't see that happening. 

Edited by Slingerland
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2 hours ago, Slingerland said:

All correct. The numbers, as is, are stretching the infrastructural and fiscal capacities of the corps (and the show presenters who have to find housing, manage stadium parking, etc). Something major would have to happen on the revenue side to make expansion of the membership limits realistic, and I don't see that happening. 

There is another option that I think is EDIT: might be realistic.  

If a seven corps show taxes the housing facilities, have two four-corps shows on different nights across a state or region.

Some will say that total attendance will be affected in a good or bad way, but it is a solution providing DCI can find housing sites at all.

Housing and show sites, and the tour logistics, will continue to be the single largest restraint to the growth of the activity.  I also think it has the biggest potential to kill the activity entirely.

 

Edited by garfield
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25 minutes ago, garfield said:

 

If a seven corps show taxes the housing facilities, have two four-corps shows on different nights across a state or region.

Some will say that total attendance will be affected in a good or bad way, but it is a solution providing DCI can find housing sites at all.

 

Interesting thought and reminds me of a DCA show before the minimum 35 members was adopted. (Actually one of the reasons it was adopted). Show had 4 pretty full sized corps and 2 below 35 members (one way below). Some people in the stands said they fell “cheated” by paying and seeing 2 very small corps. Some said they would not be back if same thing happened again.

Wondering it less griping if it would have been a 4 full size corps show.

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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