Nebraska will droop its custom of releasing crimson balloons after the primary landing of house video games on account of a worldwide helium scarcity, athletic director Trev Alberts introduced on his radio present Monday.
Alberts mentioned Nebraska is not going to hand out crimson balloons earlier than house video games at Memorial Stadium this fall. The custom of releasing the balloons after Nebraska’s first landing at house started within the Nineteen Sixties.
The helium scarcity and supply-chain points stem partly from sanctions towards Russia, one of many world’s prime helium suppliers, following its invasion of Ukraine.
“Buying helium in at the moment’s day and age, a few of the manufacturing of it’s actually challenged, and it has been arduous to get,” Alberts mentioned. “So we have been requested by the college, the helium that we’re getting as a college, we have to use for medical functions at [University of Nebraska Medical Center] in Omaha. And so we’re this 12 months not going to be offering the crimson balloons for the primary time at Memorial Stadium.”
Alberts mentioned Nebraska’s advertising and marketing division is engaged on alternate celebrations, together with digital renderings. He additionally acknowledged the environmental issues some have expressed through the years concerning the balloon custom.
In 2016, a Nebraska man filed a lawsuit towards the college, claiming the balloons posed a well being hazard to younger kids and wildlife after they return to the bottom. Nebraska’s pupil authorities in November voted to finish the custom, though it does not oversee game-day occasions.
Alberts, an All-America linebacker at Nebraska who took over as athletic director in July, mentioned he loves the crimson balloon custom.
“As we appeared into it as an athletic division, it turned very clear that with a really restricted provide of helium, it was going to be arduous to get,” Alberts mentioned.