Uh Oh: No More Opposing Team Marching Bands at Cat-Griz?
*Note: Response from university officials is now included below
Will the opposing team's band no longer be able to play at the historic Cat-Griz football games in Bozeman and Missoula? Apparently so.
Bad decision on both athletic departments! Very disappointing.
That's what the legendary Bobcat bar- the Rocking R Bar in Bozeman- shared via Facebook as they highlighted remarks from Montana Griz fan and former Montana Attorney General Tim Fox who said this:
Tim Fox: I'm extremely disappointed that the University of Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats have decided to end the tradition of having the visiting team's marching band attend the Brawl of the Wild football game simply because both schools want to sell more tickets. Bad decision. Music is forever. Athletics ends when you get old.
Butte, Montana music great Tim Montana jumped in too.
Tim Montana: As a former BHS band nerd this is disappointing…
I reached out to both Montana State and the University of Montana's athletic departments to share more details and get their response. I'll share that info as soon as we get it. (UPDATE NOW INCLUDED BELOW)
Here's some of the other comments that already started rolling in on the Rocking R Facebook page, and this is just within the last hour or so.
Dillon: Not surprised judging by the price of the tickets… I would say greed won this brawl of the wild.
Sara: Boo!! This is the game of the year for those kids too! Let them perform! Boooo
Mark: Marching Bands are a big, big part of college football. Let them play!
What's your take? Send us a message back on the app or shoot me an e-mail at aaron (at) montanatalks.com
And for those that are new to Montana or simply aren't tracking- Cat Griz is the huge rivalry between the Montana State University Bobcats and The University of Montana Grizzlies. The Cat-Griz football game is this Saturday in Missoula. It rotates between Bozeman and Missoula each year.
Update: Here is the full response from Dave Kuntz, spokesman for The University of Montana.
Last spring, leaders from UM and MSU jointly agreed to a new practice of providing the visiting team with complimentary and purchased tickets for the Brawl of the Wild. This agreement was put into place to ensure each University has an understanding of how many tickets will be made available for Brawls of the Wild to visiting university officials and fans. As part of this agreement, the visiting team has agreed to not bring their band to away games. Speaking directly for UM, with ticket sales being the primary source of revenue for the athletic department, this agreement ensures that Grizzly Athletics is prioritizing the needs of our hundreds of student athletes. Grizzly Athletics does not receive any financial support from the State of Montana and receives the lowest amount of institutional support (funds generated from student fees) of any school in the Big Sky Conference. This is why the ticket revenue is so critical to the University. We understand that folks are disappointed with this decision, but it was made with the priority being our student athletes.