Drum Corps International, the event producer and sanctioning body for the world's most elite and exclusive marching music ensembles for students, today announced audience milestones for the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour, capping the organization's 35th anniversary season.

In the stands:

Total combined live attendance (paid audience, VIP guests, corps members, media, and others) is estimated at more than 400,000 as Drum Corps International went coast-to-coast during the 2007 season, sanctioning a total of 136 events in 40 states, over a 57-day time period. Competitive events kicked off with a patriotic salute to our nation in Annapolis, Md. on June 16, wrapping up in grand fashion on Aug. 11 with the first-ever DCI World Championships in California, held at historic Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.

More than 2,000 music students joined in DCI's
patriotic salute to America on June 16 in Annapolis.
"With a whirlwind tour of the United States passing through hundreds of cities, audiences across the country had the opportunity to witness one of the most competitive drum corps seasons to date," said Sue Kuehnhold, Drum Corps International's senior manager of tour and special events. "Our drum corps were greeted with tremendous enthusiasm throughout the season by long-time fans as well as those who've only recently discovered us," Kuehnhold added. As a part of the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour, Drum Corps International produced 15 major regional contests, including events at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.; the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind.; INVESCO Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo.; Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.; and Stanford University Stadium in Stanford, Calif. Audiences at the 2007 major regional events alone exceeded 75,000 fans, with the DCI Atlanta contest marking the highest paid attendance number (11,785) of the 15-event series. "We were excited to be able to settle back into some of our favorite, familiar stadium surroundings with our fans this season after the rollercoaster ride we experienced in 2006," said Kuehnhold. "Last year, we found ourselves dealing with several unforeseen last-minute venue changes, caused by various stadium construction and renovation projects."

Fans packed the Rose Bowl Stadium stands as all
corps assembled on the field for the fnale.
With the entire tour heading to the West Coast for the first time ever, Marching Music's Major League entered Pasadena, Calif. during the second week of August for the 2007 DCI World Championships at Rose Bowl Stadium. A final tally of 24,309 ticket purchases was recorded for the Division I Finals. "More than 50,000 tickets were sold for 2007 Championship Week events. Including those with VIP guest credentials, as well as our corporate partners, members of the media and non-competing corps members, more than 30,000 people enjoyed the World Championship Finals live in the Rose Bowl Stadium on Aug. 11," said Kristy Holst, ticketing manager for Drum Corps International. "In terms of total attendance, this year's Pasadena crowd surpasses any audience we've had since 1990 in Buffalo, N.Y." The 2007 World Championship Quarterfinals paid attendance reached 8,966, with Semifinals topping out at 13,877. Combined paid attendance over three days of Division II & III events at Pasadena City College totaled some 3,221 enthusiastic spectators.

In movie theaters and on television:

In addition to the World Championships stadium attendance numbers, the fourth annual "Big, Loud & Live" cinecast of the Quarterfinals competition on Aug. 9 drew 22,921 fans to 116 theaters in 38 states, establishing a new record for attendance at this popular event.

Broadcasters Dennis DeLucia (L) and
Steve Rondinaro prepare to go on air during the
2007 World Championship Finals.
The Sept. 5 broadcast of the Drum Corps International World Championship on ESPN2 delivered a 0.4 rating, translating to 380,224 Nielsen Media Research TV households. While lower compared to DCI's first year on ESPN2 in 2005 when the broadcast had the same time slot, the 2007 program ratings bested ESPNU's "Summer House" and the first game of the WNBA Finals, both of which preceded the broadcast. "We were concerned that the 10 p.m. time slot on the East Coast would present challenges for some of our viewers, but we're extremely pleased with the ratings overall and with excellent and informative research conducted in support of the program," said Drum Corps International Executive Director and CEO Dan Acheson. "As usual, the feedback we've received after the program has been tremendous," he added.

On the Web:

Many who were not fortunate enough to attend select live events joined with those looking to enhance their stadium experiences online, to find the latest 2007 drum corps scores, news, updates and other information through Drum Corps International's newly redesigned DCI.org Web site. Members of the new DCI.org Fan Network had the ability to be part of the action during DCI's second year of live "WebCast" offerings. During six such WebCasts, 6,332 Fan Network members were able to view performances from the convenience and comfort of their homes and offices via their computer screens. Peak usage during the World Championship Semifinals WebCast reached 1,700 members watching online simultaneously.

A chart showing peak usage during DCI.org WebCasts.
Other new Web media options in 2007 included EnCorps! Video presentations, allowing Fan Network members to watch complete corps performances from select events in an "on demand" format. Throughout June, July and August, thousands of DCI.org visitors were glued to the screen while watching more than 375 hours of online video content. DCI.org also experienced record traffic during the 2007 World Championship week. 274,225 unique individuals visited the Web site during the one week period from August 6 to 12, viewing more than 5.7 million pages of in-depth and entertaining information – an impressive 16 percent increase from the 2006 season. "We're very pleased with the excitement and passion of our WebCast, movie theater and television viewing audiences," said Acheson. "We're continuing to develop enhancements for our fans as we invest in the additional resources necessary to keep pace with a rapidly-changing technological environment." Acheson continued, "As a non-profit organization, it's a constant challenge to stretch our limited resources far enough to remain at the forefront of technology, but as Marching Music's Major League, we are motivated to do as much as we can to share the magic of what we do with as many people as possible. We'll continue to work hard to provide a world-class experience for everyone on the field, in the stands, in the theaters and for those viewing at home."

Looking ahead:

During the off-season, Drum Corps International will prepare to move its headquarters to Indianapolis, Ind. from its current location in the Chicago suburbs. In 2008, The Circle City will also play host to the World Championships for the first year of a 10-year commitment in the brand new and state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium.

Construction on the brand new Lucas Oil Stadium is
well underway as seen in this photo from Sept. 12.
"With the luxury of having our World Championship event in the same place for the next decade, we can begin to solidify a schedule of major events for a number of years to come," said Acheson. "We feel very strongly that this stability will enable us to create new opportunities to better serve our corps, their dedicated members, our loyal fans, as well as our growing network of corporate partners." More information about the 2008 Summer Music Games Tour will be released as schedules are confirmed in the coming months. Visit DCI.org for updated information as it becomes available.