Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, is the Nebraska Huskers Football Stadium, and was erected in 1923.
And judging by the old school urinal troughs in the men’s room, it is fair to assume they were built first and the entire rest of the stadium was built around them.
An experience akin to your first locker room shower in middle school, it is also fair to assume the youth of today, aided by SnapFace as a distraction, just hold it until they get home.
The capacity of the original Memorial Stadium was 31,080. The cost to erect the structure was $450,000. Which is about what the average Husker fan pays in the course of their lifetime to maintain season ticket “privileges.”
Trust me; as a former season ticket holder, I spent $5,000 each year for tickets to watch a team that hasn’t won a conference title in 20+ years, hasn’t been to a bowl game in six years running.
In that 20+ years, we’ve transitioned from a “football school” into a volleyball, bowling, and gymnastics school. And from what I understand the Big Red debate team is also nothing to trifle with. Take that Miami, aka The U. You don’t want no parts of us at the podium.
Now that we’ve moved past what a middling product the football team is, let’s get on to the review of the stadium the Huskers play football in.
In a word, Memorial Stadium is an awesome place to see a game.
A series of expansions have raised the stadium’s capacity to 85,458, but attendance regularly exceed 90,000. Case in point the recent Nebraska Women’s Volleyball day, which tallied 92,003 attendees.
Nebraska football has sold out an NCAA-record 391 consecutive games at Nebraska Huskers Football Stadium, a streak that dates back to 1962.
The art deco design style is dope AF. Tinged with subtle reminders of the getting-more-distant-past-by-the-day (Heisman trophies and national championship banners on display), makes for a great experience.
As well as the meaning behind each part of the stadium. The stadium is filled with fantastically cool inscriptions from head to toe.
For example, each corner of the stadium was given an inscription from philosophy professor Hartley Burr Alexander:
Southeast: “In Commemoration of the men of Nebraska who served and fell in the Nation’s Wars.”
Southwest: “Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory.”
Northwest: “Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport.”
Northeast: “Their Lives they held their country’s trust; They kept its faith; They died its heroes.”
When you drive into Lincoln via the most popular route, the first thing you see on the horizon is Memorial Stadium.
To think about all the history that has occurred there and what it means to the state of Nebraska, you can’t help but marvel at how cool it looks.
I’ve been driving there for years and I still gawk at it every time, like a complete Simpleton.
In the mid-1990s the university began a $36-million expansion of West Stadium, adding luxury boxes, a larger press box, a stadium lounge, and a new façade facing Stadium Drive; the expansion raised the stadium’s capacity to 74,056. It was re-dedicated on April 24, 1998, months after Tom Osborne retired from coaching, as “Tom Osborne Field at Memorial Stadium.
New construction on Nebraska Huskers football stadium began in 2004 to renovate and expand the north end zone, adding an additional 6,000 seats and thirteen luxury boxes called “Skyline Suites,” which brought the stadium’s capacity to 81,067.
At the time of its completion, the 33-foot (10 m) tall, 120-foot (37 m) wide scoreboard at Memorial Stadium was the largest in any college football stadium.
My favorite part of Memorial Stadium is the accessibility it gives the fans. I’ve been to more pro and college stadiums than I can count. And this stadium gives you more field level access than any place I’ve ever been.
Behind the benches on each sides of the field fans (regardless of seat location) can walk literally behind the players on either side.
You can get so close to the players you can smell Matt Rhule’s mustache and what he had for lunch.
Noe the position of the band below (The Pride Of Nebraska) as that is where anyone can walk at any time:
Here’s the view from where the Huskers make their world-famous “Tunnel Walk” as they EXPLODE onto the field:
Here is my lifelong friend (since kindergarten) Steve Jaixen simulating his entrance as a Jr. Husker:
Anther thing a lot of people rave about is the food. There is a notorious “Big 3” that consists of 3 local, native Nebraska favorites – Valentino’s Pizza, Runza, and Fairbury hot dogs.
If you wanna go HARD AF you can also lump in the Cheeseburgers, which feature 2 other Nebraska faves; Rotella’s buns (“Nice buns.”) and Omaha Steaks’ hamburger.
Steve told me that “one time a couple years ago that I hit the Big 3 and I was bound up for days.
And frankly (#Fairbury), I believe him.
So while the product on the field may not be very good, and we struggle to beat teams like Ball State, Georgia Sothern, and Louisiana Tech at home, the games are always fun to attend.
Interestingly, the university does not sell beer at Nebraska Huskers football stadium games. Which would ease the pain of the losses.
But, undoubtedly lead to many a fracas based on repressed subconscious frustration EXPLODING via a haymaker on some dude’s face in a parking lot.
Nebraska fans are amongst the most fervent fanbases of any sport, anywhere. And the passion and energy is palpable and adds to the experience.
If you are ever offered the opportunity to attend, do it. Just don’t expect a win or any sort of vertical passing threat. Or any privacy in the men’s room.