When it comes to college football fanbases, few are more passionate and loyal than Nebraska’s. Unsurprisingly, the Cornhuskers faithful showed just that with the attendance at this weekend’s annual spring game.
For the first time in over a year, Nebraska welcomed fans into Memorial Stadium on Saturday to watch the early season exhibition. According to Evan Bland of the Omaha World-Herald, the program announced 36,406 in attendance, just over 40 percent of capacity.
Although the number was a far cry from Nebraska’s 2019 spring game attendance of 85,000, the crowd was among the biggest in the United States since the start of the COVID-19. The Alabama Crimson Tide brought in over 47,000 fans for last weekend’s spring game and yesterday’s Kentucky Derby is believed to have set a new high with a crowd of around 52,000.
Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos kept capacity limited to adhere to social distancing guidelines, but the Cornhuskers faithful in attendance brought a palpable energy to Memorial Stadium. Needless to say, it was refreshing to see fans back in Lincoln and the play on the field didn’t disappoint.
A good look at the Nebraska spring game crowd today via BTN. https://t.co/6oatAb0EOB
— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) May 1, 2021
— MJ Morris (@mj_morris7) May 1, 2021
Don’t forget Nebraska only allowed 50% capacity for the Spring Game 2021 and it still had a larger crowd than most schools Spring Game at full capacity. https://t.co/eeXgAN5vVu
— Optimistic Sker (@OptimisticSker) May 1, 2021
Fans are in Memorial Stadium. Not the biggest crowd ever for a Nebraska spring game, but maybe the best looking one. pic.twitter.com/YX1S7OCjRf
— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) May 1, 2021
Saturday’s contest came to an exciting finish with backup quarterback Heinrich Haarberg throwing a pass to Wyatt Liewer for a game winning touchdown. The White team, led by presumptive starter Adrian Martinez, won 21-20.
Nebraska will now set their sights on next fall, in what’s shaping up to be a critically important year for head coach Scott Frost. Since arriving from UCF in 2018, he hasn’t had a winning season, much to the disappointment of the program’s fanbase. Expectations are high headed into 2021, with Moos calling eight or nine wins “realistic” in the upcoming campaign.
With fans returning to Memorial Stadium, Nebraska will need to use its home advantage in order to be successful next fall.