DCI Finals set for Denver in 2004

by Kelly Bitter, DCW editor

The Drum Corps International World Championships will head farther West than they have in many years when they return to Denver, CO, in 2004.

INVESCO Field, the recently built home of the Denver Broncos football team and “Drums Along the Rockies,” will serve as the site of the 2004 division I events on Thursday through Saturday of championships week. A local committee is looking at three possible locations for the division II/III events, which can’t be held at INVESCO Field due to stadium officials’ concerns about wear and tear on the field’s combination of artificial and real grass.

DCI Executive Director Dan Acheson said there were several reasons behind the decision to hold the 2004 championships in Denver. First, it has been a long time since the championships event has been held that far West, so people who haven’t had access to the championships in the past will be able to attend in 2004. Second, Acheson said INVESCO Field is a “beautiful stadium” and Denver is the right size city. There is a good deal of local awareness and support of drum corps in the city.

The Denver-based Blue Knights were instrumental in getting the stadium for DCI. Acheson said if it weren’t for the Blue Knights’ successful history with the stadium, taking the championships there might not have become a reality. Acheson and BK Director Mark Arnold had first discussed the idea in 2001, and Arnold was very involved in the process of securing the stadium.

Not only has the stadium been secured far in advance, DCI has also nailed down hotel rooms and a location for the individual and ensemble competition. Acheson said he is happy to have gotten to this point so far in advance because it will allow DCI to deliver better service to drum corps fans.

“Denver was very popular in 1977 and 1978 for our traveling fans, and I expect it will be again,” he said.