TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State's marching band won't
accompanying the Sun Devils football team to the Hawaii Bowl.
The bowl does not pay for the marching band's travel expenses,
said Steve Hanks, the university's assistant athletic director for
"Unfortunately, traveling to Hawaii during the holiday season
is extremely expensive," Hanks said. "ASU just does not have the
discretionary spending to travel 250 people there."
The Sun Devils face Hawaii in the bowl game on Christmas Eve.
Many department personnel and the dance team also will not go to
Only a "skeleton crew" of cheerleaders will attend because it
is written into the bowl contract, Hanks said.
Because other bowl games include band performances in their
contracts, they pay for band expenses. But as a low-tier bowl, and
a relatively new one, the Hawaii Bowl does not.
"Since [the Hawaii Bowl] started, no school has taken its
marching band there, so we are not doing anything any other program
has not done," Hanks said.
A nearly $400,000 bowl payout and conference shared revenue
won't even cover the team's expenses in Hawaii, according to Hanks.
The last time ASU played in Hawaii -- at the Aloha Bowl in 1999 --
the marching band made the trip.
"We practiced on the beach, walking up and down by all the
hotels. Every 30 yards, a crowd would gather. They thought it was
the greatest thing in the world," said Travis Breedlove, a tenor
saxophone player in the ASU band that year. "You're part of the
team's support. Heck, as a band member, you're there well before
anyone else comes into the stadium … until the final whistle
blows and then post-game. [You're] their biggest fans."
Chris Coughlin, a sophomore trumpet player in his second year in
the marching band, said he was disappointed by the university's
decision, but understood the reasoning behind it.
"I think everybody thought we were going to get to go, at least
some of us because all the past bowl games we've gone," he said.