LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts announced on Monday that the university would not provide balloons to release at Husker football games this fall 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 has given some of the challenges, and some of the production of it is really challenged, and it's been hard to get," Alberts said on his monthly radio show. "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 UNMC in Omaha. And so, we are this year not going to be providing the red balloons for the first time at Memorial Stadium."
For decades, the Huskers have had the tradition of releasing red balloons into the sky when Nebraska scores its first points of every home football game.
"We're going to work with Brandon Meier and our marketing department to try to develop something, whether it's digitally or something, to sort of designate and keep it alive," said Alberts. "We're working hard on some alternatives in the future, but I just want to be upfront with our fans."
NU's home opener is Sept. 3 against North Dakota.
"As we looked into it as an athletic department, it became pretty clear that there's a very limited supply of helium and was going to be hard to get," Alberts said. "So we decided to end that tradition this year."
Adam Krueger at KMTV first reported this story.