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FSU Marching Chiefs not traveling for football game vs. Miami – Tallahassee Democrat

The Marching Chiefs will be at Hard Rock Stadium in (Seminole) spirit Saturday. 
Florida State’s renowned marching band is not traveling for the Seminoles’ road football game against the rival Miami Hurricanes. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. on ABC. 
FSU (5-3) needs a victory over UM (4-4) to become bowl eligible for the first time under third-year coach Mike Norvell. The Seminoles’ last bowl appearance was a 20-14 defeat to Arizona State in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31, 2019.
While it’s surprising the Chiefs are not making the trip – many fans expressed their frustrations across social media earlier this week – there are several explanations. 
The Chiefs last traveled for a Miami game in 2018. (The band skipped the 2020 game at Hard Rock Stadium due to COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted the season). 
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M. Todd Queen, Dean of the College of Music at FSU, provided a statement to the Democrat through the athletics department. 
“Each year, the Marching Chiefs take to the road for one game to cheer our team to victory,” Queen said in a statement.
“This year, we traveled to New Orleans, where we thrilled the crowd with our NOLA show and came home with a big win. When we explored the option of a second road trip to Miami, the number of seats needed for the band in the appropriate section of the stadium were not available. While we are disappointed that we won’t be in Miami, we will be cheering on the team from Tallahassee. Go ‘Noles!”
As Queen said, FSU athletics budgets money for the Marching Chiefs to travel to one away game each year. This year, the Chiefs traveled to New Orleans for the Seminoles’ showdown against LSU at the Caesars Superdome. 
An athletic official estimated the cost of the two-day trip to Miami at $175,000 for busses, trucks, hotels, meals and tickets for the 600-piece band.
An FSU athletics department official also told the Democrat the Chiefs’ decision was made before the season partly because they were invited to perform at halftime in New Orleans – and not in Miami.
The AllState Louisiana Kickoff and Superdome were also able to accommodate lower-level seats for the Chiefs. The band would have had to sit in the upper level of Hard Rock Stadium. 
The Seminoles were allotted 850 lower-tier tickets to the UM game, according to FSU. 
Reach Jim Henry at jjhenry@tallahassee.com.
No one covers the ‘Noles like the Tallahassee Democrat. Subscribe using the link at the top of the page.

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