Nebraska will droop its custom of releasing crimson balloons after the primary landing of residence video games as a consequence of a world helium scarcity, athletic director Trev Alberts introduced on his radio present Monday.
Alberts mentioned Nebraska won’t hand out crimson balloons earlier than residence video games at Memorial Stadium this fall. The custom of releasing the balloons after Nebraska’s first landing at residence started within the Nineteen Sixties.
The helium scarcity and supply-chain points stem partly from sanctions in opposition to Russia, one of many world’s high helium suppliers, following its invasion of Ukraine.
“Buying helium in right now’s day and age, among the manufacturing of it’s actually challenged, and it has been laborious 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 yr 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 considerations some have expressed over time in regards to the balloon custom.
In 2016, a Nebraska man filed a lawsuit in opposition to the college, claiming the balloons posed a well being hazard to younger youngsters 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 regarded into it as an athletic division, it grew to become very clear that with a really restricted provide of helium, it was going to be laborious to get,” Alberts mentioned.