By Michael Reed
Among the myriad of arenas which host Championship Prelim and Semi-Finals competitions, the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University has one of the longest histories with WGI. Over the years, this building has hosted thousands of competing units from North America, Europe, and Asia. The site hosted the Percussion World Championships through 2007 and has attained a special mystique of its own.
The most iconic landmarks of the Dayton area are Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the United States Air Force Museum. The Nutter Center is within a couple minutes from both, just east of Dayton. It is a short 15 minute drive from UD Arena and is located just off the I-675 bypass, making it a convenient location to get to.
Parking is plentiful, and once inside the building, spectators will notice the entry is actually on the upper level with the performance floor on the lower level. The stands have a steeper pitch than at the other venues, and are nearly thirty rows high. If you like the field-level up close view, that is available, and if being able to have a great overview of the action is your pleasure, the upper half of the seating area has wonderful sightlines.
Spectators only see half of the basketball floor when entering the performance area, which is the south end of the arena. The other half the crowd does not see behind the big black curtain is the staging area for groups waiting to perform, and where photos are taken immediately after the ensembles have completed their shows.
One reason this site serves the percussion units so well is the plentiful space for lines to move around and warm up. During Percussion Championships weekend, it is not uncommon to see large throngs of drummers clustered around the lines playing in the lot. Winds fans had the pleasure of watching their favorite groups in this building, as the inaugural Winter Winds Championship Prelims were held here, making the Nutter Center the answer to the trivia question regarding which venue hosted the very first Winter Winds Championship performance.
While all the guards and drum lines ultimately hope to perform in Finals at UD Arena, many have grown fond of the Nutter Center and look forward to a performance there almost as much. To get the complete Championship experience, many guard and percussion enthusiasts enjoy sampling the different venues, and the Nutter Center is one of their favorites. If you plan on coming to the 2016 WGI World Championships, please make plans to attend a Prelims or Semi-Finals competition at the Nutter Center and you can experience a bit of WGI history first hand.