It has been a long wait for Nebraska football fans to see the Huskers in action at Memorial Stadium. The team didn't have a real game today, of course, but Husker fans always show up in big numbers to the spring game, and today was no different, even with the specter of COVID-19 lurking.
Back in 2019, over 85,000 packed into the stands for the annual spring game. That was obviously not feasible this year, as the program attempted to adhere to some social distancing guidelines. Still, it was an impressive showing by Nebraska football fans, especially after more than a year where full stadiums were basically non-existent.
Per Evan Bland of the Omaha World-Herald, the program announced 36,406 in attendance this afternoon. The Big Ten did not allow for fans at all last season, so this had to be a special moment for many in Lincoln.
Alabama, which hosted over 47,000 fans last weekend at its spring game, topped it, though obviously these numbers are heavily influenced by local guidelines. The Kentucky Derby, which is set to begin shortly, has nearly 52,000 fans in attendance, and is believed to be the largest crowd for an American sporting event since last year when COVID-19 began.
It was a pretty exciting event, as far as spring games go, as well. Things began with the first tunnel walk with fans in the stands in a long, long time.
Nebraska football hasn't been able to get things going under Scott Frost, after sky high expectations when he was hired. AD Bill Moos called eight or nine wins for 2021 "realistic" in a recent interview.
There's plenty of work to be done in Lincoln.