The game is a couple more years away but the question is somewhat relevant today. When Maryland and Penn State play each other in Baltimore in 2015, will the Blue Band be allowed to perform on the field? This may not be as silly a question as you might think.
Maryland is playing West Virginia this weekend in Baltimore, in M&T Bank Stadium. Although the game is being played on a neutral field, Maryland is treating it as a home game. West Virginia's famous marching band will be on hand but Maryland is not allowing The Pride to perform on the field because it is Maryland's typical home policy to not allow the visiting band to perform on the field. The decision has caused a bit of a stir among West Virginia fans and those who support the band and despite the pleas to allow the band to perform, Maryland is standing firm on their decision. It really is a shame and it is a silly policy that hopefully will be amended in the future.
Maryland's athletics department sent a statement to The Daily Mail in West Virginia, who reported on this development. It reads;
"It is our practice at Maryland to only have the Maryland Band perform on the field during our home football games. While the visiting team bands do not perform on the field, we are always pleased to set aside a section of seats within the visiting team section for them and we encourage the visiting team band to attend and perform from their seats for the enjoyment of their team and fans. We are following our standard practice with the West Virginia Band on Saturday and we have set aside seats for them near the field."
Penn State has always allowed visiting bands to perform during a split half-time as far back as I can recall, and it is customary within the Big Ten to allow visiting bands time to perform. This issue should not likely be a concern for Blue Band supporters planning on traveling to Baltimore for the Big Ten division match-up in 2015. This is just assuming the Blue Band would make the trip, of course. I would be stunned if they did not.
In recent years the Blue Band has made trips to multiple NFL stadiums hosting a Penn State football game. The Blue Band has traveled to FedEx Field outside of Washington D.C. for a game against Indiana, to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for games against Temple and this year visited MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for the season opener against Syracuse. When they do make the trip to these stadiums they have performed a slightly modified version of the traditional pregame show, likely designed to entertain Penn State fans in those regions who may not typically get a chance to attend a game in Beaver Stadium. It's a nice touch for the fans who miss out on the game day experience in State College.
Here's hoping the band does get a chance to perform in Baltimore in 2015.
Photo by Kevin McGuire.