The University of Minnesota has decided to make room for a popular drum-and-bugle corps show, after all.
On Thursday, university officials apologized for bumping Drum Corps International from its scheduled July 16 appearance at TCF Bank Stadium. They announced that the show will go on, just a little later in the day than planned.
“I am absolutely thrilled,” said Todd Tanji, one of the organizers of the touring show, which features hundreds of student musicians from across the country.
The two sides had been at loggerheads since March, when the Athletics Department discovered that it had double-booked the stadium and told the drum show that it had to move.
It was the second time in two years the U had bumped the show after agreeing to rent the stadium to the group for nearly $100,000.
The first time, the group was displaced for a free Imagine Dragons concert in 2014. This year, the group was told it had to make way for a private football camp run by Gophers coach Tracy Claeys. The camp, which is used as a recruiting tool, rents the stadium for $600 a day, according to the university.
After frustrated Drum Corps leaders went public with their story last week, a university official called and offered to work out a solution, Tanji said.
On Thursday, the university agreed to let the drum show have the stadium on the original date, after the July 16 football camp ends, about 3:30 p.m. Until now, Tanji said, U officials had insisted that the stadium was unavailable all day.
“This is a win-win situation,” he said Thursday. “People were very apologetic all around. [And] we got the date we were looking for.”
Last fall, a university audit criticized the Athletics Department for giving away the stadium, rent-free, in 2014 for the Imagine Dragons concert, which was part of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game weekend.
The auditor said that decision cost the university $125,000 in lost revenue.
But this week, the university issued a statement saying that neither President Eric Kaler nor the auditor knew before now that the Drum Corps had been bumped to make way for that free concert.
“We are now in the process of understanding who made that decision [and] why it did not come to light during the recent financial audit,” the statement said.
This time, U officials blame “human error” for the latest mix-up.
They said that someone had recorded the wrong dates for the football camp last fall, before the U notified the Drum Corps group that it could rent the stadium.
“It is our practice to give athletics programs priority in using athletics facilities,” the U statement said. Athletics officials say they discovered the mistake in “late February/early March,” and began working with Drum Corps International to try to find another date.
“We are very sorry for the frustration this has caused,” the U statement said.