MCBA State Preview

This Saturday marks the final MCBA competition of the 2012 season: State Finals. 12 bands in each of the four flights will compete for the coveted “State Champion” title. 

Here are some important details (if you haven’t already seen it):

  • Parking at Ford Field Lots is $6. 
  • Ticket sales are CASH ONLY. Adult Tickets cost $16 each. Students and Seniors, $12. Children 5 and under are free.
  • Ticket offices open at 7:00 AM, The Gates open at 7:15 AM.
  • Flight Start and Awards times:
    • Flight IV: 8:15 AM; Awards: 11:15 AM
    • Flight III: 12:00 PM; Awards: 3:00 PM
    • Flight II: 3:45 PM; Awards: 6:45 PM
    • Flight I: 7:30 PM; 10:30 PM
  • You are subject to searches upon entering Ford Field, especially if you have purses or other bags. For a list of prohibited items, please visit this Detroit Lions/Ford Field webpage.

All that being said, here is some important Spectator Information regarding Ford Field and State Finals (gleaned from years of attendance):

While Awards are scheduled to happen immediately following the 12th competing band in each Flight, we still have to wait for tabulation to occur, for Drum Majors to report, and so on. What looks like a 45 minute break, in reality, is not. Because of such, there is a possibility that if tabulation runs long, the “actual time” between Flights could be very short and the next performing band may be taking the field “sooner than you expected.” If an Awards ceremony runs long and it is evident that you cannot leave the stands before the next flight’s first band’s performance, please wait until that band has performed before leaving. Even though your student’s band has already performed and received their rank, score, and captions, we still need to be courteous to other performing bands.

Additionally, during ‘Flight Shift,’ entering and exiting the stands always takes much longer than it should. Consider either entering towards the end zones and walking toward the center through empty rows of seats. 

On the same line of entering, I have witnessed and have also heard numerous accounts of Ford Field event staff treating spectators in a less-than-desirable manner. Please know that for many of these employees, this is the first time they are experiencing a Marching Band competition; they are familiar with Ford Field policies and Football fans, not Marching Band Spectators or Spectator Etiquette. The number one offense that occurs is that Event Staff standing at the aisle entrances off the concourse will tell waiting spectators that they cannot block the entrance and can enter the stands during a band’s performance. If this occurs to you, please politely inform the Staff member of proper marching band etiquette; if they act adversely, I suggest that you leave the aisle entrance and wait further back. Whatever they tell you, DO NOT enter the stands during a band’s performance, regardless of where you are in relationship to the 50 yard line.

In regards to proper spectator etiquette, talking is also a large reoccurring issue at State. While you should never talk during any band’s performance, Ford Field’s cavernous venue helps amplify speech in the stands. It is not uncommon to hear somebody talking who is sitting well away from you. Please remember this, and please give every band your respect; please try to put your rivalries and biases aside – all the performing bands earned the right to have a respectful audience giving them attention. If you are not interested in what is being presented to you, please keep negative thoughts to yourself.

All of this being said, the goal of every spectator should be to support every student who takes the field, who has put in countless hours of work into perfecting their show, and who is expecting to present their show to a supportive audience. Please go forth and have fun.



We will be posting Flight Scores throughout the day this Saturday. If you use Facebook or Twitter and have not Liked or Followed us, please consider doing such before then. I have yet to determine where scores will be posted to; it has normally been Twitter, but I may try to get them up on the website instead. Regardless of where they get posted, we will update you via our social media outlets for each Flight.

We are going to propose and recommend the usage of #mcba for Saturday’s tweets.

This entry was posted in News.