Skip to main content

Nebraska Halting Longtime Tradition: College Fans React

Big Ten football program Nebraska football's game day balloon release.

LINCOLN, NE - AUGUST 31: Nebraska fans release red balloons after the Nebraska Cornhuskers score their first points of the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

On Monday, Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts announced that red balloons will not be provided to fans this fall. 

Since the 1960s, Nebraska has allowed its fans to release red balloons at Memorial Stadium following the first touchdown of the season.  

Alberts said the reason Nebraska's tradition of releasing red balloons will be put on hold because of a helium shortage.

"While we’re still concerned about the environmental impact of the balloons, the reality is acquiring helium in today’s day and age given some of the challenge and some of the production of it is really challenged and it’s been hard to get,” Alberts said on his radio show, via KMTV. “And so we’ve been asked by the university that the helium 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." 

The responses to this decision are mixed. Some people want Nebraska to keep its balloons tradition going, whereas others are OK with it coming to an end. 

"Nebraska ending the Red Balloon tradition is so stupid," Big Cat of Barstool Sports tweeted. "This is like when Wisconsin tried to stop Jump Around for 1 game. Traditions are fun and important. Trev Alberts should use some of Scott Frost’s salary for helium."

"But definitely not because it's horrible for the environment," Brian Neubert tweeted in response to Alberts' reasoning for not providing balloons. 

"Balloons needed to go a long time before any shortage," one fan said. 

Another fan tweeted, "Is nothing sacred anymore?" 

Nebraska's 2022 home opener is on Sept. 3 against North Dakota. 

Are you upset about Nebraska's recent decision?