2006 attendance for more than 143 sanctioned events; Fans connect to World Championships across the country; Looking forward to new major regional events on the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour Drum Corps International, the event producer and sanctioning body for the world's most elite and exclusive marching music ensembles for students, today announced attendance milestones for its 2006 Summer Music Games Tour. Kicking off on June 16, in Oswego, Ill., and wrapping up on Aug. 12, with the Division I World Championships in Madison, Wis., Drum Corps International sanctioned a total of 143 competitions in 39 states this past summer, taking place over a 58-day time-frame. Total paid attendance for all events is estimated at more than 360,000. "The 2006 Summer Music Games Tour was exciting from start to finish," said Sue Kuehnhold, senior manager of tour events for Drum Corps International. "Audiences around the country were treated to outstanding performances from the best marching music organizations on the planet. It was another remarkable season for the fans and participants of Drum Corps International and our member corps," Kuehnhold added. As a part of the 2006 tour, Drum Corps International produced 11 major regional contests, including events held in Columbia, Mo.; Indianapolis; San Antonio; Atlanta; and Allentown, Pa. Attendance at these 11 events exceeded 72,000 fans, with a new modern-day attendance record for a major regional event (15,831) established in Atlanta on July 29.
Fans look on as Phantom Regiment performs in the Georgia Dome at the July 29, DCI major event in Atlanta.

"We had several challenges this season which forced us to relocate two of our events to alternate venues at the last minute, including the move of the Kalamazoo (Mich.) event to Battle Creek (Mich.) and the long-standing Murfreesboro (Tenn.) "Masters of the Summer Music Games" event to Cookeville (Tenn.). Even with these challenges, we were very pleased with the loyalty of our devoted fans who supported the performers at these major events," said DCI Executive Director Dan Acheson. "The popularity of our inaugural regional event in Atlanta was a pleasant surprise which surpassed our expectations. The record-setting attendance at the Atlanta event was nearly double what we had originally estimated." In addition to fan attendance at live stadium events, Drum Corps International's Web site, DCI.org, provided a new way for fans to experience major events with live streaming video coverage made available through its "Season Pass," subscription-based premium content delivery service. During eight live streaming Internet broadcasts, Season Pass members watched 4,675 video streams, engaging themselves in events that they likely would not have been able to attend otherwise. Peak usage was recorded during the Atlanta streaming broadcast on July 29, with 1250 members watching online. "This is the most 'connected' fans have ever been to both the World Championships and the Summer Music Games Tour," said DCI's Senior Web Producer Ricky Fritzsching. "With more than a quarter million unique visitors engaged on the Web site during the week of the 2006 World Championships, fans are definitely using the Internet to expand and enhance their drum corps experience, and we're pleased to continue to expand our content delivery options as well."
DCI.org's Ricky Fritzsching runs the Web broadcast from the Georgia Dome television control center.

In addition to live Web coverage of the World Championship Semifinals through the streaming Season Pass offering, more than 22,000 fans also took the opportunity to watch this year's Quarterfinals live in select movie theaters across the country as a part of the third "DCI Cinema Live" event. And even with these opportunities to experience the 2006 World Championships from outside the walls of Madison's Camp Randall Stadium, combined attendance for the Championship Week events from Aug. 8-12, increased several thousand fans beyond the attendance numbers seen last season in Foxboro, Mass. In Madison, the Division I Quarterfinals crowd reached 8,871, with Semifinals topping out at 14,624; which is more than 2,000 higher than any Semifinals crowd dating as far back as 1999. This year's Finals crowd at 21,232 is right in between those of the last two years, higher than Foxboro, Mass. (20,542), but slightly lower than the 2004 World Championships in Denver (22,047). Combined attendance over four days of Division II & III events, totaling 4,190, is the most recorded at a World Championships in more than 10 years. "This marks the third-year-in-a-row that we have had more than 20,000 fans attend the Drum Corps International World Championship Finals which has not happened since the early 1990s," said Acheson. "Fans are experiencing the World Championships as a week-long celebration of this activity, and the increasing number of people coming out to all five days of events, demonstrates continued growth in the support of the outstanding efforts of these incredible performers."
The 2006 World Championship Finals night crowd in Camp Randall Stadium.

Drum corps enthusiasts can look forward to several new major events on the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour. As corps make their way west to Pasadena, Calif., for the 2007 World Championships, fans will be treated to new late-season major regional events in Arizona and in Northern California. "Fans of our long-standing major events will more than likely notice a slight shake-up in next summer's schedule as the corps head west for the World Championships," said Acheson. "Allentown is on the schedule for early July with the hopeful return of our events in Murfreesboro at Middle Tennessee State University and Atlanta at the Georgia Dome also taking place in the first half of that month." More information about the 2007 Summer Music Games schedule will be released as schedules are confirmed in the coming months. View a photo gallery of crowds from all of Drum Corps International's 2006 major regional events.