When Nebraska announced it would play a volleyball match in Memorial Stadium in February, university system president Ted Carter issued a challenge to continue the tradition of selling out the venue as it has for every football game since 1962.
“I’m just not going to be happy with 20,000 or 30,000,” Carter said. “I want to challenge all Nebraskans. We have sold out this stadium for every sporting event we’ve put in that stadium since 1962. Let’s pack the stadium. Sell this thing out and show the world how great we, as Nebraskans are as sports fans.”
This week, the Huskers fans answered the call and purchased more than 82,900 tickets in less than 48 hours. Just after noon on Thursday, Nebraska announced that its match in the century-old football venue on August 30 against Omaha was officially a sell out.
The state-wide celebration of volleyball will also include an exhibition match between Division II teams Nebraska-Kearney and Wayne State College in the afternoon. A concert is also scheduled after the volleyball matches, but NU has not announced who the musical artist will be.
“Nebraska fans never cease to amaze me,” Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts said. “We knew the interest in this match would be extremely high, but to sell out Memorial Stadium is truly remarkable.”
The incredible ticket demand means Nebraska will easily shatter the record for the most attended college volleyball match.
The 2021 NCAA title match between Nebraska and Wisconsin drew the biggest crowd to watch a college volleyball match with 18,755 fans at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Seven of the eight largest attendance figures for any volleyball match, and 12 of the top 14, featured Nebraska in the national semifinals or championship match.
Wisconsin holds the NCAA regular-season record, attracting 16,833 fans for a match against Florida last September at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Badgers’ record erased the previous mark set by Nebraska and Creighton nine days earlier when 15,797 fans watched the instate rivals play at the CHI Health Center in Omaha.
Drawing more than 80,000 fans for a single match is unheard of in college volleyball. Only four teams posted more than that figure for the entire 2022 season. Nebraska (155,618 in 19 matches) and Wisconsin (139,701 in 18 matches) were the only schools that attracted six figures. Third place Hawaii saw 89,450 total fans at its 15 home matches, and Minnesota had a total…
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