Nebraska Football Ending Long-Standing Tradition of Releasing Red Balloons at Home Games

by Tyler Mansfield

Everyone loves a good tradition. It’s a part of the American Dream, right? From events that happen each and every year to key elements at sporting events, traditions make-up who we all are. As for the Nebraska Cornhuskers Football program, they’ve had a long-standing tradition – but it’s being put to an end.

Nebraska – which competes in the Big Ten Conference – has always handed out red balloons to fans before home games at Memorial Stadium. After the Cornhuskers score their first touchdown of the game, fans then release them into the air. It’s a tradition that first started back in the 1960s. Now, it’s no longer a thing.

Apparently, there’s a global helium shortage. I’ve never heard of such, but I mean it is 2022, so who knows? Evidently Russia is a top helium supplier and sanctions against it for invading Ukraine is the reason why there’s not much helium. That makes a little more sense.

Nebraska athletics director Trev Alberts shared the news Monday on his radio show and went into detail regarding the situation.

“Acquiring helium in today’s day and age, some of the production of it is really challenged, and it’s been hard to get,” Alberts said, via ESPN. “So we’ve been asked by the university, the helium that we are getting as a university, we need to use for medical purposes at [University of Nebraska Medical Center] in Omaha. And so we are this year not going to be providing the red balloons for the first time at Memorial Stadium.”

Will There Be a New Tradition Started at Nebraska?

With the red balloon release now out of the picture, what’s the next tradition starting at Nebraska? According to AD Trev Alberts, he said the Cornhuskers’ marketing department is putting together alternate celebrations – and even digital renderings.

Nebraska has a Power Five athletics operating budget, so it should be able to figure it out. However, it’ll be strange not to see those red balloons in 2022 and moving forward.

Nebraska is scheduled to kick off its upcoming season on Saturday, August 27 against Northwestern.