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Glenn426

What's in a Field?

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Expenses.

Its a big topic on this board and many say that DCI costs are spiraling out of control. So I started to look at what is driving cost up through the roof. I started to look at the DCI's 990 to look at what their actual costs and expenses are. Pulling up their 2018 990 here ( https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/362754480/201902739349300235/full ) you can find that in 2018 DCI spent $6,550,694 on Show Expenses (cost of renting facilities) Looking at their calendar they put on 108 shows in 2018 between WC, OC and Soundsport shows. If you average that out, they Spent $60,654 per show for the DCI tour. That's an insane amount of money for a Non-profit organization to put out to put on these shows.

And that leads me to think what Can DCI do to bring this crazy amount of Cost down? And the one idea that keeps coming through my head is, the football Field. We are married to a football field as our performance venue and this marriage is becoming so expensive it is killing the organization from within. When if you look at most shows, Corps Rarely go outside of the 15 yard lines and rarely spend much time behind the back hash. 

Could DCI survive in a smaller venue?

Could DCI perform inside the NBA/ NHL Arenas instead of a football field?

Looking at the Size of NHL Rink. The regulation size is 200 x 85, But most NBA/NHL Size arenas can easily move the back and side bleachers and easily reach a common space of 210 x 105 Feet. Or what you would know as 15 to 15 and Front Sideline to Back Hash.

Now you might ask what does an average Arena Cost to rent for a day? http://rockandrollguru.blogspot.com/2011/03/price-of-concert-breaking-down-where.html  

$20,000 a Night.

If in 2018 DCI rented arenas instead of Football Stadiums the expenses for Show Expenses would shrink to: $2,160,000, a reduction of $4,390,694. Even if you inflate the $20,000 Cost by 50% $30,000 to cover for Security, event staff, Logistics etc.., You would have expenses at $3,240,000. A Reduction of $3,310,694.00.

For comparison, Looking at WGI's 990; (https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/311421760/201813129349300016/full) WGI spent $1,635,975 in 2018 on Event Expenses. They put on 77 events some are duplicated so you can 70 events in 2018 ( For comparison WGI is putting on 64 events in 2020) Their average expense was $23,371.07 per event.

If you're thinking, Well they cant get as many people in an arena as they can in a Football stadium, you'd be right, If you where to sell one side of the arena as you did in a football stadium most arenas  have a capacity of 12,202 for 180° shows https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Arena  Some are larger, Some are smaller.

While the smaller shows are hosted in High School stadiums. The largest HS Stadiums in the country https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-largest-high-school-stadiums-in-the-us.html have a seating capacity of 20,000+ but you can only sell one side. But DCI is not in these large stadiums often so you could argue that most of the early season shows happen in locations where the seating capacity is around 5,000 people.

So while the maximum number of people that could attend an event would be reduced to about 12,000 the average capacity will be increased to somewhere around 10,000 people for event. There is also the possibility for cities that normally have larger stadiums to have 2 shows one Saturday and Sunday to make sure that everyone wants to see the shows get to see the shows. Reducing Fuel cost and increasing member health as they get to get some serious floor time by going back to the same school. Funny enough that these large Regional NFL Stadiums are the ones that could be pointed too as having the largest impact on these expenses. They also offer performance audiences close to 20,000 people.

So the average attendance size goes up. Meanwhile DCI because of the stacked nature of Arenas has more space on the 50, And can increase the amount of "VIP" or high cost tickets. Most of these arenas also have Suites, You can sell suites and club level tickets for a premium something that simply doesnt exist in the average Football Stadium. 

The next positive, NO WEATHER! No Rain Delays, No 98 Degree heat in Texas after Sundown. 65 Degrees A/C with a cold Beer in hand and with the corps so close you can reach out and touch them.

And then the last component. For the individual Corps. While you can with ease field 154 members on a field of this size, you might start to feel cramped. For the corps it might improve the aesthetic to reduce the size for the corps to 100 members. You remove one Bus you remove 54 mouths to feed, and on down and continue the corps budget will shrink. You will still pay the same amount of money to see Blue Devils regardless if they have 154 members or if they have 100 members. 

With the Cost going down, More corps have an opportunity to compete and because of decreased member size more talent is distributed to other corps, and the overall talent goes up.

So I ask knowing all of this, 

Is the Football Field and being outdoors essential to your enjoyment of Drum corps? If losing the Football Field meant that the activity not only survives but flourishes would you willingly waive goodbye to the Football Field?

 

In my mind I already have.

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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.

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18 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

   Is the Football Field and being outdoors essential to your enjoyment of Drum corps? If losing the Football Field meant that the activity not only survives but flourishes would you willingly waive goodbye to the Football Field? 

So you're thinking DCI should evolve into something similar to Drum Corps Japan?  No idea how large their marching area is, plus the use of props would have to be discussed.

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20 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

in 2018 DCI spent $6,550,694 on Show Expenses (cost of renting facilities)

I am fairly sure the 990 "Show Expenses" category includes far more than just the cost of stadium rentals.

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 This is whats possible on a 90x60 Floor. Most professional Arenas that can house an NHL game have a floor space capable of 200x85 and with modifications 210 x 105.

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3 minutes ago, cixelsyd said:

I am fairly sure the 990 "Show Expenses" category includes far more than just the cost of stadium rentals.

https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/362754480/201902739349300235/full

Page 10 has the Functional Expenses, There are a lot of other categories that you would imagine would be separated from the actual show expenses. For example Judge cost and Travel and other matters are separated into different line items. I would imagine that the Venues tell DCI, WE need X amount of dollars to have the space available and for our Event staff to ensure the arena is protected and used correctly. I assume all of that is included in the Event Expenses.

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29 minutes ago, Glenn426 said:

*respectfully snipped for brevity*

So I ask knowing all of this, 

Is the Football Field and being outdoors essential to your enjoyment of Drum corps? If losing the Football Field meant that the activity not only survives but flourishes would you willingly waive goodbye to the Football Field?

 

In my mind I already have.

1.  I have yet to attend an indoors show (DCI, WGI, etc.), and I doubt I will.  I know that in some cases, stadiums/arena design has included elements to INCREASE sound focusing/retention with respect to increasing the impact of fan noise.  I highly suspect that these elements will NOT benefit sound quality with respect to fans LISTENING to a performance.

2. Short answer? Probably not.  Granted, I would probably be intrigued enough to go to a small indoor venue version to see what it's about.  TO ME, however, give me outdoors, big, powerful performances, with as much acoustically-based sourcing as you can.

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I know you and I touched base on the other thread on this, but I'd be perfectly fine with it.  I'm in love with the corps' performances, not the venue, and you could do virtually every effect already seen outdoors.  

My only real experience with indoor drum corps was with Brass Theater II when they passed through the area in '96, but you could see pretty easily how it would go.  You *absolutely* would have to cut the number of performers per section, else you'd kill everyone in the stands, but in today's very professional digital tarp-prop-uniform age, you could create some amazing looks and sounds.  Could even add more lighting.

Plus, the number of "bad seats" is incredibly diminished, which will make Garfield happy as they could charge much more per spectator.  😝

Mike

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48 minutes ago, cybersnyder said:

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.

$6000 could be cheap for an indoor venue. an indoor circuit here in PA approached Hershey about using the Giant Center for an all day regional. they wanted 10 grand just to turn the lights on, not factoring in everything else. given they'd make on a concert or circus or disney on ice compared to indoor drum corps, no way we'd get a deal

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21 minutes ago, gak27 said:

1.  I have yet to attend an indoors show (DCI, WGI, etc.), and I doubt I will.  I know that in some cases, stadiums/arena design has included elements to INCREASE sound focusing/retention with respect to increasing the impact of fan noise.  I highly suspect that these elements will NOT benefit sound quality with respect to fans LISTENING to a performance.

2. Short answer? Probably not.  Granted, I would probably be intrigued enough to go to a small indoor venue version to see what it's about.  TO ME, however, give me outdoors, big, powerful performances, with as much acoustically-based sourcing as you can.

Now I have never been to Indy but I have been to the Old Georgia Dome, Alamodome, and the old RCA Dome and those were obnoxious Echo Chambers.

I'd have to think the the acoustics in a smaller arena would be much improved because the space that the sound waves could echo off each would be greatly diminished. It'll still have some echo but nowhere near as bad as a larger domed Stadium.

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