The East Coast Classic, one of New England's premier drum and bugle corps competitions, will take place at a new location this year, Fitton Field Stadium on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., on Sunday, Aug. 7.

According to Dan Greer, board president of the Boston Crusaders, the change in venue was dictated by the impending demolition of the historic Manning Bowl in Lynn, Mass., which had hosted the show for the past 16 years.

The 66 year-old Manning Bowl was the site of major drum corps championships for nearly a half-century. Greer indicated that the new location represents an opportunity to enjoy the spectacle of drum corps in a first-class facility. He explained that the board chose Fitton Field because of its large concert side seating capacity and modern stadium accommodations for spectators.

"This stadium has among the best sight lines and acoustics of any drum corps stadium in the country," said Greer. "We expect our audience will appreciate the combination of a superb lineup, 7,000 concert-side seats, and a clean, well-maintained stadium. This is one of the very best venues to watch drum corps anywhere in the country."

Fitton Football Stadium was built originally in 1924, which makes it a decade older than Manning Bowl. However, the facility was completely renovated in 1986 when the seating capacity was enlarged to 23,500, making it the fourth largest stadium in Massachusetts.

Unlike Manning Bowl, Fitton Field provides abundant spectator parking, easy access from anywhere in New England, right off of I-290, and because there is no track surrounding the field, spectators will be closer to the action than ever before.

Greer cautioned that this year's show, which will be held in the late afternoon, will be something of an experiment before the board considers staging a night show at Holy Cross. He mentioned that while the stadium has no lights of its own, the college has indicated a willingness to consider bringing in temporary lighting.

He added, "Anytime you move an event like the East Coast Classic from its historic location, you take on a new set of risks. This year's show needs to be successful from an operational and financial standpoint so that we can explore developing a nighttime format in the future."

He urged fans to buy their tickets early so they can come out and support the Boston Crusaders in their 65th anniversary season and help make the show's transition to a new location a resounding success.

Headlining the event are the five-time world champion Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara ,Calif.; Phantom Regiment from Rockford/Loves Park, Ill.,, and the hometown favorite Boston Crusaders.

Other top-rated corps scheduled to appear include the Blue Knights, from Denver; Spirit from Jacksonville State University; the Seattle Cascades, from Seattle; the Troopers, from Casper, WY, the Kiwanis Kavaliers from Ontario, Canada, and East Coast Jazz from Malden, MA. A crowd of more than 4,000 is expected to attend.

Tickets to the show are $25, $20 and $15 and can be purchased in advance by calling 617.268.4600, online at, or at Fitton Field on the day of the show. The show begins at 4 p.m.