ESPN Events to Host Inaugural Band of the Year National Championship – December 15 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

Competition will feature marching bands at Historically Black Colleges and Universities from Division I and II Conferences

ESPN Events will present the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, a prestigious competition featuring the nation’s top marching bands from Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs). The event will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on December 15 in advance of the 2022 Cricket Celebration Bowl, the unofficial HBCU National Championship college football game between the champions of the MEAC and SWAC.

The Band of the Year National Championship will air live on an ESPN platform and will feature the top two marching bands from both the Division I and Division II conference levels competing for the title of Band of the Year.

The championship will be the culmination of a season long competition where bands will be ranked according to their weekly halftime performances by a selection committee of marching band experts. Rankings will be posted on the college football section of The top two bands from each Division in the final rankings will earn the right to compete for the national title in Atlanta. The Band of the Year Championship will showcase the best of the best, featuring bands that have demonstrated excellence in musicianship, originality, precision and showmanship.

“ESPN Events is constantly looking to create new and exciting events, so we’re thrilled to host the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship as part of our Cricket Celebration Bowl weekend in Atlanta,” said John Grant, Executive Director of the Band of The Year, Cricket Celebration Bowl and Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff. “We’re proud to celebrate marching band culture and the incredible talent and hard work of marching band students. This event will provide a platform for these amazing performers to showcase their skills and compete for the title of Band of the Year.”

Tickets for the Band of the Year will be available for purchase in early October. For more information on the event, please visit

About ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of collegiate sporting events nationwide. In 2023, the 33-event schedule includes four early-season college football kickoff games, 17 college bowl games, nine college basketball events, a college softball event and the inaugural Band of the Year National Championship, in addition to a new college gymnastics event coming in 2024. Collectively, these events account for over 400 hours of live programming on ESPN platforms, while reaching 60 million viewers and attracting more than 650,000 annual attendees. Each year, the portfolio of events features more than 20 Division I conferences and hosts over 4,000 participating student-athletes. With satellite offices in more than 10 cities across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website

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