Amidst a slew of criticism and ridicule from marching band and college football fans, the Louisiana State University Athletic Department has reversed its outright ban on visiting bands performing on the field at Tiger Stadium. The ban, which apparently was enacted last year, only became publicly known within the last week.
“There are serious safety issues to consider in adopting the proper plan for on-field performances by visiting bands,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in a written statement to the Advocate. “When both our band and the visiting band are scheduled to perform, there’s the possibility of having over 600 additional people converging onto already crowded sidelines while the game is in progress. There are legitimate safety concerns that can affect our student-athletes, so we have developed a plan to ensure a more secure environment for everyone.”
LSU Athletics says it will rearrange some seating areas and work on timing halftime to make the visiting band’s performance possible. When visiting bands are performing, the LSU band will perform first, a non-traditional move that they believe will make things safer.
The marching band from South Alabama told AL.com they would bring their full band regardless of the on-field performance. No word yet if Jacksonville State or Alabama, who cancelled and reduced their trips due to the ban, respectively, would be changing their minds.