With its marching band sidelined because of a deadly hazing incident, Florida A&M University has announced an “enhanced football experience and halftime entertainment,” to keep fans cheering during this season’s home football games.
In addition, the school’s athletics department has partnered with Visit Tallahassee, which promotes the city as a tourist destination, to create travel packages that include game tickets along with a hotel room. The effort is designed to drive game attendance and overnight visits, the school said.The school did not provide full details but said fan who attend this season’s four home games can expect new entertainment options, including old school vs new school DJ competitions, performances by “major recording artists” and a contest to win a meet-and-greet with the artists.
With its famed Marching 100 band suspended for the entire 2012-2013 school year because of a hazing death, Florida A&M University had been looking for new ways to keep students and fans engaged this football season.
In a press release issued Tuesday, FAMU officials did not mention the band or refer to events that led to this year’s changes. They instead focused on football and a season of new entertainment options.
“We have a promising team this football season ready and excited to showcase their talent on the gridiron,” FAMU Athletics Director Derek Horne said in the release. “Our guys have been putting in extra time with drills over the summer, and adding the excitement of the enhanced halftime experience is sure to make this a very exciting football season as FAMU celebrates 125 years.”
The school announced the band’s yearlong suspension in May following the death of a 26-year-old drum major, Robert Champion, on Nov. 19. Champion died during a hazing incident on a bus after a football game in Orlando. Eleven band members were charged with felony hazing in connection with his death; two others were charged with misdemeanors.
FAMU opens its football season Sept. 1 in Nashville against Tennessee State.
Opponents for home games include Hampton University (Sept. 15), Savannah State (Oct. 13), South Carolina State (Oct. 20), and the FAMU homecoming game against North Carolina Central (Nov. 10). Referenced from Qcity Metro