It is the practice for the Spartan Brass band to attend all post-season basketball tournament play to support the men’s basketball team and fans. In the past the group has used both buses and planes, depending on the distance and available team logistics. In the case of the NCAA Final Four games in Minneapolis, the 43 members of the band and cheer travel parties will travel by bus due chiefly to the increased need for athletic department and basketball program staffing needs due to the magnitude of the event.
“In general, the further a team goes in NCAA Tournament play, the greater the personnel needs are to staff and support the team’s appearance, especially during the Final Four,” explained Matt Larson, MSU associate athletic director for communications.
The additional travel time required by bus transportation, which is paid for by the Department of Athletics, will not create additional lost class time for band and cheer team members, band director David Thornton said.
“We are excited about the opportunity to support the team and go to the Final Four,” Thornton said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these students, and they are thrilled to be able to participate.”
In addition to team and program support personnel using air travel, seats are routinely made available for Board of Trustees members to allow them to represent the university at official events, which has no impact on band travel arrangements.
The number of trustees traveling with the team this week is nearly identical to the number the last two weeks. Several trustees are arranging their own travel to Minneapolis.