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Huskers end balloon release

Husker fans release balloons after the first touchdown of a football game at Memorial Stadium.
Husker fans release balloons after the first touchdown of a football game at Memorial Stadium.(Brett Baker/KOLN)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:41 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 9:37 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts said fans will not be given balloons inside Memorial Stadium for the 2022 football season. Alberts said the break in tradition is due to a shortage of helium.

“While we’re still concerned about the environmental impact of the balloons, the reality is acquiring helium in today’s day and age and some of the production of it is really challenged,” Alberts said. “The helium that we are getting as a University we need to use for medical purposes.”

For many years, Huskers fans released balloons following Nebraska’s first score of each home game.

The tradition, which dates back to the 1960s, had been scrutinized recently due to its environmental effects.

In November 2020, Nebraska’s student government unanimously voted to support a resolution that encouraged the stopping of balloon releases.

According to a survey done by the Nebraska Athletic Department in January, the balloon release scored a 5.4 out of 7 satisfaction rating in the Gameday Experience category. That was toward the bottom of a list that included other traditions like the Tunnel Walk, military recognitions, the third quarter lights show, the spirit squad, flyovers, the Cornhusker Marching Band, and mascots. It ranked slightly higher than “The Cornhuskers Song.”

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