Hundreds of young Husker fans take in their first game
To keep the Huskers' sellout streak alive, two UNL donors paid for roughly 2000 young Husker fans to come to a game, free of charge.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – If there is one thing Nebraskans love, it’s their Cornhuskers.
It’s the reason they’ve sold out an NCAA record 376 games, a record that was in danger of coming to an end for Saturday’s game against Fordham.
To keep the sellout streak alive, two UNL donors paid for nearly 2000 young Husker fans to come to a game, free of charge, in what the university is calling the Red Carpet Experience.
“We love our sellout streak here in Nebraska,” UNL’s Dr. Lawrence Chatters said. “We decided to see if there would be a way for us to get those tickets to the people who need them and folks who have never been to a game.”
Chatters is the associate athletic director for diversity, equity & inclusion at UNL. He says the Red Carpet Experience is meaningful to him because he never had the opportunity to go to Husker games as a kid.
“It’s actually quite emotional,” Chatters said. “Because when I was growing up, I couldn’t afford, and my family couldn’t afford to come to a game. So the fact that a lot of people, almost a little over about 2000 young people, we’ll get a chance to see this game today. It just warms your heart.”
Jeremy and Emily Curtis of Papillion brought their three daughters, Aurora, Nyla and Hadley, to Saturday’s game. It’s the first time any of them have seen the Huskers up close.
“It’s just exciting,” Jeremy said. “I mean, they love the Huskers, and we love the Huskers.”
“This is a great experience and a memory that we’re going to have forever,” Emily said.
Wambli Dolezar and Marcel Blackbird of Winnebago teamed up to bring 64 kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Hocak to the game.
“A lot of these kids might not have the opportunity to come to a Husker game,” Dolezar said. “So we’re excited. It’s more than just the game. It’s about the experience.”
Blackbird says he still remembers how watching Husker players walk through the tunnel resonated with him when he was taken to his first Husker game in 1995. He wants to give today’s youth that same experience.
“You can see the fire in [the Husker players’] eyes, you know, and it’s just motivation for them,” Blackbird said. “That’s what I hope to do, is inspire these kids, you know, to [believe] eventually that anything is reachable and attainable.”
“Hopefully this is motivation for our kids,” Dolezar said. “Maybe someday, they’ll be Husker players walking into the stadium as a player.”