Drum Corps International announced on Aug. 8, 2006, that it will move its headquarters to the city of Indianapolis and bring its World Championships to Lucas Oil Stadium beginning in 2008. Why Indianapolis of all places? Are they paying DCI big bucks to do this? Most cities are motivated to reach out and attract events, organizations and corporations which create a positive economic impact in their communities. It is estimated that the DCI World Championships will have at least a $10 million positive economic impact in each year of DCI's presence in Indianapolis. Beyond merely attracting businesses to their city, Indianapolis is committed to supporting the arts, as well as cultural and educational organizations, to a greater degree than any other city we have encountered. Simply stated, Indianapolis wants DCI as its partner in success, and DCI is thrilled to be a part of their continuing evolution and growth, and Indianapolis part of Drum Corps International's in return. Paying DCI big bucks, no, it really does not work that way. The agreement is much more complicated than Indy simply "throwing cash at DCI." What Drum Corps International has with the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association (ICVA) is a partnership agreement. As is the case in any partnership, DCI gives to them and they give to DCI. Drum Corps International and the ICVA will be working together to make this relationship the overwhelming success both parties believe it will be. • The financial components will allow Drum Corps International to lock-in the costs of staging the World Championships for 10 years, including expenses related to housing the competing units, as well as costs involved with the use of this truly state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium facility. • Indianapolis will provide DCI access to a world-class venue in the most fan-friendly environment DCI has ever encountered in 35 years of staging events. Isn't 10 years a long time to go back to the same place? Why is DCI doing this? The value of not merely acting as an event promoter in a random city, but of becoming a corporate citizen in a dynamic and evolving community where DCI's most prestigious annual event is held, goes well beyond that which can fully be grasped at this point. As in any partnership, the term of the agreement is very important. DCI has enjoyed a one-year-at-a-time relationship with several cities throughout its history, but each time having to "reinvent the wheel" with regard to logistics, establishing credibility, and explaining unique needs. Therefore, DCI can dedicate more resources to its core mission. In a world where positive personal relationships are a key to business success, a long-term commitment like this spotlights DCI's desire to impact the lives of those engaged in drum corps and in the community at large. This philosophy is likely to pay tremendous dividends throughout the years. Drum Corps International's past success in other markets provides some insight into how the organization can work with Indianapolis to achieve great things together. For example, DCI has produced events in San Antonio since 1998, with steady growth each year. DCI has a track record in Allentown for more than 25 years, and despite an aging stadium there, the "grand-daddy" of all DCI events still attracts large numbers of fans each summer. Attendance at the Indianapolis major regional event also has grown each year since the first event produced there in 2000. Geographic considerations: • Indianapolis is within a day's drive of 75 percent of the U.S. population. • In the world of scholastic music education and marching bands, Indiana and its neighboring states are highly regarded for their outstanding achievements providing great foundation from which to continue to build an audience. Does this location mean that DCI is becoming an indoor activity? No. What it means is that the DCI World Championships can never be rained out. The creative program designers of Drum Corps International member corps are the best in the world at what they do. DCI has no doubt that they will maximize all of the opportunities which this new venue will provide, and they will continue to create dazzling programs which will challenge their students while enabling them to continue to achieve the highest levels of excellence. With the 2008 Drum Corps International World Championships currently scheduled as the first event to be held in the new Lucas Oil Stadium, we will be integrally involved with the creation of the standards for acoustics in the facility. Will the retractable roof at Lucas Oil Stadium be open or closed for Drum Corps International events? It is too early to tell what exactly will happen when the roof is open or closed, and every option and related consequence will be explored and evaluated. It is DCI's expectation at this point in time, that whenever the weather allows, the roof will be kept open. For example, if high humidity or high temperatures may detract from the experience of the performers and fans, DCI may choose to close the roof for comfort and/or safety considerations. That these options are even within the realm of consideration are tremendous assets for DCI in the production of the most elite marching music competitions in the world. If conditions require DCI to keep the roof closed, there are provisions being made to create the best possible acoustical environment indoors. DCI will also be cooperating with acoustical modeling and sound testing of the stadium during the construction phase whenever called upon to do so. How can DCI do this, without knowing what drum corps will sound like inside the stadium? DCI did not research what the sound would be like in Denver, Foxboro, or the newly renovated Camp Randall Stadium and has produced highly successful events in those venues. In all cases, there were and will be acoustical challenges. The experience DCI has had now in three domes gives the organization significant confidence that a hard structure retractable roof will allow for a successful acoustical event, sight unseen. If the acoustics are indeed a problem at Lucas Oil Stadium, remedies to DCI's satisfaction are included as a part of the agreement. Will the stadium be ready in time for our 2008 World Championships? All parties involved have assured DCI that the stadium will be ready for the 2008 DCI World Championships. In fact, the championships will likely be the inaugural event in the stadium. Knowing that the Colts will have to play pre-season ball in the new stadium is somewhat comforting since DCI should be in the stadium just two weeks prior to the start of professional football there. What if it's not? Drum Corps International has a detailed back-up plan in writing including alternate locations in Indiana. The plan will serve the corps and the fans in the world-class manner they would expect. DCI will know well enough in advance of any such need to execute the plan to allow for a smooth transition. Are there enough attractions in Indianapolis to keep fans coming back every year? Drum Corps International is sensitive to what fans seem to like in and around the championships events. Indianapolis and the area that surrounds will provide plenty to keep one entertained outside of the stadium. DCI has found more and more, as is evidenced by the plea to return to various championships locations, that fans like familiarity for their championships experience. They generally want to know that the hotel is a good one, where the great restaurants are located, the locations of night life after the shows, convenient shopping, and most importantly they want to feel safe. Downtown Indianapolis offers the best fan experience by far related to convenience. Imagine flying or driving to the downtown area and never needing your car all week while walking to both Division II & III events and Division I events, your choice of restaurants, hotels, museums, nightlife and family-friendly atmosphere. How does this announcement benefit DCI? This is seen as an opportunity to establish stability to a point that growth of the world championships events, both in terms of audience attendance and sponsorship base, becomes more probable. Why is this a good thing for the corps? The corps are in a constant state of volatility because of the enormous amount of effort it takes to raise money and support a corps with human resources. By establishing a stable home for its championships, the modest resources employed can begin to focus on strengthening the rest of the tour, as well as developing new opportunities that will assist the corps by raising more money while enhancing and promoting the value of the drum corps experience.
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