Memorial Stadium has been the home of the Huskers since 1923 and location of the NCAA-record longest sell-out streak that stood at 311 at the start of the 2011 season.
This incredible streak of consecutive sellouts started on November 3, 1962 when 36,501 attended the Homecoming game against Missouri. In case you were wondering the last non-sellout game was October 20, 1962, when the Huskers hosted Kansas State and a measly 30,701 showed up. Well that is measly by Nebraska standards.
The Stadium was named Memorial Stadium to honor all Nebraskans who served in the armed forces from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. The stadium, believe it or not, was completed in just 90 days. Nowadays it takes more than 90 days to just bribe the local officials to get all the permits to begin construction.
Through the years it is has been enlarged and upgraded, including the current $63.5 million expansion that will add 5,000 seats in a new upper deck to the East Stadium, some new club seats and luxury boxes to being the total seating up to 90,000.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Nothing fancy, just the basics folks. They concentrate on doing the basics right and for the most part they do it right. The prices are fairly reasonable compared to most big-time college football stadiums.
The famous Wimmer's red hotdogs for $3, pop corn for $3 and cheese nachos? If you guessed $3, you are correct. They also serve Valentino's Pizza, Colby Ridge soft serve ice cream and Runza sandwiches. Pepsi products can be had for $4 for that large 32-ounce size.
The outside of the stadium is like a carnival, with people wearing red everywhere, food booths, people looking for or selling tickets and a little further out from the stadium are tons of people tailgating in parking lots.
On the east side of the stadium there is the Husker Legacy statue commemorating the Huskers national championships in 1970, 1971, 1994 and 1995.
Outside the Northwest corner of the stadium is a statue of former coach Tom Osborne and the late quarterback Brook Berringer who tragically died in a plane crash in the spring of his senior year.
The first thing you notice besides the dark and light green FieldTurf surface, is the huge HuskerVision score board high above the North Stadium and the smaller ones in the corners.
The "Tunnel Walk" is a tradition where the team comes out of the locker room with every player reaching up and touching the horse shoe that hangs above the door entering the stadium under the grandstand. Fans line both sides of the "tunnel" under the grandstand as the players come out and walk to the northwest corner of the stadium, throw open the door and charge out onto the field to the thunderous cheers of the 81,000 fans. Leading up to the "Tunnel Walk" the fans begin chanting "Husker Power," alternating between the east and west sides of the field with one side shouting "Husker" and the other shouting "Power."
After the first Nebraska touchdown the fans release thousands of red balloons filled with helium. It is an impressive sight to see them all in the air at one time.
It is loud, enthusiastic and wholesome. If you are a visiting fan decked out in your team's colors, the Nebraska fans seated around you will be happy to explain the traditions to you and answer any questions you may have.
The only negative I found was the tight seating on the bleachers. All the seats are bleachers except the club seats. You will get to know the people on both sides of you, plus the fans behind you and in front of you, because you will probably be touching them most of the game. That is how tight it is.
To give you an idea of the size of Memorial Stadium, the press box is at the top of the West Stadium and it is a full six stories above the field. Fortunately, the general seating is not that high.
Memorial Stadium is located on campus, which is located in the city of Lincoln, and it is alive with activity on game day. You can find about any type of food or drink you could want in Lincoln. The Haymarket area of Lincoln is a several block area loaded with restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Some that I found that are decent are Buzzard Billy's Armadillo Bar and Grillo, which is a sports bar with a Southwestern themed menu. Another is Brewsky's, which is a standard sports bar, with decent food and reasonable prices. Lazlo's Brewery and Grill is exactly what the name implies, a bar and grill. The food, prices and atmosphere are very good. All three are located in the Haymarket area.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Jake's Cigar Bar a favorite of sports fans that enjoy fine imported cigars. With a fine offering of cigars, spirits and plenty of TVs, it is worth stopping in at 13th and O Streets. Just take a stroll around Lincoln and enjoy the game day atmosphere and discover all kinds of fun things to do.
Nebraska fans are as passionate about Cornhusker football as any fans in the country. As a bonus they are probably the friendliest fans of any major team in the country. They are famous for the good treatment they give to visiting fans. In 30 minutes I personally saw three different Nebraska fans come up to a small group of visiting Ohio State fans decked out in Buckeye apparel and welcome them to Lincoln.
This is not a quick in/quick out operation. This is an all day experience. There are lots charging $5-$10 to park. There is some street parking that is free, but it is about a mile from the stadium, but it is a fun walk since you are walking through downtown Lincoln. If you are coming in for the game, I-80 from Lincoln will be packed, so allow plenty of time. Also if you want a hotel room on game day, then you probably want to look at hotels in Omaha, which is about 45 minutes away, not counting game day traffic.
In the stadium, there are enough restrooms until you hit a peak time, then it gets a little tight. Since there is no beer served, that helps a lot in keeping the crowds down in the restrooms.
Tickets are $56 which is middle of the road for major college football, but way better than the price for most NFL tickets. Throw in a hot dog, nachos and a large Pepsi and it will cost you $68. Not a bad deal for big-time college football.
I will award two stars for the Nebraska fans being so friendly. That is almost unheard of at major sporting events. I will award two stars for the great traditions mentioned above at Cornhusker games and a point for all the game day activity in Lincoln.
Nebraska is one of college football's storied programs. Going to a Nebraska football game at Memorial Stadium is an experience that all college football fans will enjoy. When you throw in how nice the Nebraska fans treat visitors and the comparatively reasonable cost of a day of college football fun, plus it is located right in the middle of the country, Memorial Stadium needs to be on every college football fan's stadium tour.
**Photo attributed to Bobak Ha'Eri
I absolutely love Memorial Stadium... I'm sad to say that the Iowa game will be my last home game as a student, and I'm going to miss Husker football season like nothing else!!! Love the atmosphere, love the stadium, love the city, love my SKERS!!! Go Big Red!!
247 N 8th St
Lincoln, NE 68508
210 N 7th St
Lincoln, NE 68508
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