The largest crowd ever to witness a women’s sports event filled Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, as 92,003 fans watched the five-time NCAA champion Nebraska Huskers volleyball team beat Omaha 3-0.
After the Huskers won the first two sets, the attendance record was announced to the red-clad Nebraska faithful, who cheered wildly.
On what was dubbed “Volleyball Day in Nebraska,” the match was the culmination of months of planning for a program and state that have long led the way in enthusiasm for the sport. The crowd, at what is usually the home of Nebraska football, broke the previous world record for women’s sports attendance — 91,648 — set on April 22, 2022, in Barcelona, Spain, for a Champions League match between FC Barcelona and Wolfsburg.
This was paid attendance, too. Tickets for the doubleheader — Wayne State beat Nebraska-Kearney in a Division II exhibition before the Huskers and Mavericks played — were originally priced at $25 for adults and $5 for high school students and younger. But tickets reached as much as $400 on the secondary market.
“It’s incredible; I don’t have enough words to describe it,” Nebraska middle blocker Andi Jackson said. “We were walking out of the tunnel after the second set, and we heard on the speaker we had just broken the world record. Everyone was trying to stay locked in, but we were also so excited. I can’t describe how grateful I am to be a part of it.”
The match was announced in February as part of “Volleyball Day in Nebraska” with tickets going on sale in April. In three days, more than 82,000 tickets were sold, enough to seat more than 4% of Nebraska’s entire population.
Nebraska volleyball’s success
Nebraska volleyball has built a legacy as storied as the Cornhusker football team, winning five national championships, the most recent in 2017. The American Volleyball Coaches Association ranked them 4th in the country heading into Wednesday night’s match against in-state rival Omaha.
“Nebraska fans never cease to amaze me,” Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts said at the time. “We knew the interest in this match would be extremely high, but to sell out Memorial Stadium is truly remarkable.”
“Everywhere I go in town, everywhere you go, people are talking about this,” Head Coach John Cook said Tuesday. “To see that place packed, there’s no way to prepare for it.”
By the time the Huskers were ready to make their entrance for a 7 p.m. start, the court was shaded, the temps had cooled, the stadium was packed, jets flew in formation overhead and the fans went high-decibel.
Then the Nebraska volleyball squad ran out onto the field and the court that had been built on the northern side of the legendary stadium, which opened in 1923.
Cook laughed and said going through the tunnel and into the sea of red made him feel like a football coach. Cook, who has been the Huskers’ volleyball coach since 2000 and led them to four of their NCAA titles, said he shed tears at least five times Wednesday, overcome with the emotion of experiencing such a monumental event and seeing so many of Nebraska’s former players here.
Nebraska junior Lexi Rodriguez said the wind at times played tricks on the ball, which of course doesn’t happen indoors, and that the depth perception was different playing in the stadium. But none of that bothered her or any of the other players. She was asked about the effect the nationally televised match could have.
“I’ve been saying it’s so huge for little girls to get to see a women’s sport and volleyball being played on this big of a stage, and having so many people invest in it,” Rodriguez said. “When you’re little, you have big dreams and big goals. Having this to look up to is something that a lot of little girls will keep in the back of their mind when they’re pursuing the sport of volleyball.
Nebraska football is celebrating a century of memories at Memorial Stadium this fall, and Wednesday’s match created another unforgettable event here. It also gave Nebraska football something to aim for, because 92,003 fans is a stadium record. The biggest previous crowd here was 91,585 for Nebraska’s football victory over Miami in September 2014.
Cook thanked the university administration, state government and fans after the match, while a drone presentation lit up “92,003” next to the stadium’s giant video screen in the north end zone. University of Nebraska students had gotten the day off from classes for the event, and Cook said there were only three things that ever shut down school here.
“One, snowstorms. Two, COVID,” Cook said. “Three, Nebraska volleyball in the stadium.”
OnMyWay Is The #1 Distracted Driving Mobile App In The Nation!
OnMyWay, based in Charleston, SC, The Only Mobile App That Pays its Users Not to Text and Drive.
The #1 cause of death among young adults ages 16-27 is Car Accidents, with the majority related to Distracted Driving.
OnMyWay’s mission is to reverse this epidemic through positive rewards. Users get paid for every mile they do not text and drive and can refer their friends to get compensated for them as well.
The money earned can then be used for Cash Cards, Gift Cards, Travel Deals and Much, Much More….
The company also makes it a point to let users know that OnMyWay does NOT sell users data and only tracks them for purposes of providing a better experience while using the app.
The OnMyWay app is free to download and is currently available on both the App Store for iPhones and Google Play for Android @ OnMyWay; Drive Safe, Get Paid.
Download App Now – https://r.onmyway.com
Sponsors and advertisers can contact the company directly through their website @ www.onmyway.com