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Events

Nebraska volleyball game sets new attendance record for women’s sport

Featured image credit: Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball team set a new world record for a women’s sporting event last night as a whopping 92,003 fans attended its 3-0 win over Omaha in an outdoor match at Memorial Stadium.

The crowd surpassed the previous world record, which was set last year as 91,648 fans attended the Uefa Women’s Champions League football match between Barcelona and Wolfsburg at the Camp Nou.

Nebraska won all three sets by double digits in its 25-14, 25-14, 25-13 sweep against Omaha.

Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska primarily serves as the home of the university’s American football team and has an official capacity of just over 85,000, but yesterday this was expanded with more seats and standing room on the pitch. The bumper crowd was the largest attendance in the 100-year history of the stadium.

The previous record for a women’s sporting event in the US was set during the 1999 FIFA World Cup final between the US and China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. That match attracted a crowd of 90,185.

Yesterday’s match also smashed the previous record attendances for any NCAA volleyball match and an NCAA volleyball regular-season match. The previous record for an NCAA volleyball match was 18,755 when Nebraska played Wisconsin at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio on December 18, 2021, while the largest regular-season attendance was 16,833 when Wisconsin hosted Florida at Madison’s Kohl Center on September 16, 2022.

The Husker volleyball programme has sold out 306 consecutive regular-season matches, although last night’s match does not count towards the streak as it was played outside of the team’s main home facility, the Devaney Center.

“We took a chance by playing in Memorial Stadium, and to go for the record and break it … I don’t think anybody could have envisioned that when this whole thing started,” Nebraska coach John Cook said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

“It feels like a great accomplishment for this sport called volleyball played by women. It’s a state treasure. We proved it.”