SOUTH BEND (Ind.) Before Saturday's Notre Dame Stadium road game, Purdue's giant bass drum caused quite a stir.
Purdue's All-American band will perform its halftime show without the drum after being informed that the World's Largest Drum wouldn't be allowed to enter Notre Dame Stadium's home entry. This is the first time the All-American Band has performed without it since 1979. Aaron Yoder, Purdue's spokesperson, said that the band would still bring the drum to the stadium and leave it there for fans to admire before the game.
However, a Notre Dame official stated to ESPN that Purdue had not contacted the university to request permission to bring the drum onto campus. He believed that it would not be allowed.
Notre Dame's 2017 renovation of its stadium added a visitor tunnel to accommodate opposing marching bands and teams. This led to the disagreement between instate schools. The Fighting Irish and their opponents had previously entered through one tunnel. This created logistical problems.
The World's Largest Drum can't be accessed through the tunnel for visitors.
Yoder, a spokesperson for the university's bands or orchestras, stated that visiting bands and teams must use a smaller tunnel. "Our drum measures about 10 feet high on its carriage and weighs 565 pounds, so it won't fit in the other tunnel."
Officials from Notre Dame stated that the Irish had provided more than 400 tickets to Purdue's marching bands, more than twice what they did for Toledo's last week. In 2012, the Boilermakers played in South Bend.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the World's Largest Drum. It was built for the first time in 1921. It was last seen in the band's possession in 1979 when it disappeared from storage. Later, it was found behind an air conditioner and accessible only via ladder. This led to speculations that it had been stolen.
Purdue says that in the early days of train travel, Paul Spotts Emrick (band director) had the drum made and worked with the New York Central Railway on finding train cars that could accommodate it. It is now carried in the back of a pickup truck.
This report was contributed by Dave Wilson, ESPN.