Million Dollar Band to miss Texas game due to stadium seating location

Jennifer Baggett, Contributing Writer

When the Crimson Tide takes on the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal Stadium this Saturday, the Million Dollar Band will not be playing in the stands. 

“Due to the seating location and configuration of the visiting institution’s ticket allotment at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the Million Dollar Band will not make the trip this weekend for the Alabama at Texas football game,” UA Athletics said in a statement. 

The Longhorns have a longstanding policy that opposing bands use tickets allotted for the visiting team. 

Controversies related to the location of visiting team fans and band members at Texas games have happened before. In 2018, photos were posted on Twitter showing the Texas Christian University marching band in the upper deck of the Texas stadium.  In 2019, the LSU band were also sitting in the upper deck. 

Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte decided to move the visiting tickets that were formerly in the lower bowl stadium to the upper deck. Del Conte tweeted in 2018, “We moved the visitors section from the lower bowl to give our students a contiguous student section thus creating a fantastic atmosphere for DKR…if a visiting team elects to bring their band [they] must sit in the seats allotted for visitors.” 

Several students on campus in the past week said that it was unsportsmanlike for Texas to place visiting bands in the upper deck of its stadium. 

Chalandra Gooden and Felicia Smith are both graduate students pursuing Ph.D.s in curriculum and instruction with a focus on math education. Gooden thinks the situation is an interesting dynamic between the teams. 

“Alabama has a right to make a decision on what’s best for their students and be seen as what’s respected within the band culture,” Gooden said. “With all of football, the band deserves respect also, treatment effects whether they come or not.” 

Smith finds the director’s decision to skip traveling to the game a way of standing up for the members of the band and showing that Texas isn’t being inclusive to all students. 

“It shows the power of the director to pull the plug for the students and say we don’t have to take this, and this is not supportive and not inclusive for all the students,” Smith said. “[Texas] is supporting their students but not supporting the visiting team and that’s a part of the experience of being at a football game. The visiting team also wants to see their school represented.” 

The last time Alabama faced Texas was January 7, 2010, when the Crimson Tide won the National Championship 37-21. It was Nick Saban’s first National Championship win at Alabama. The Longhorns are in the process of leaving the PAC-12 for the SEC and will officially become members in 2025. 


Kenneth Ozzello, the director of the Million Dollar Band, declined to be interviewed for this article. 

Texas Athletics did not respond to requests for comment.