When Nebraska hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 26, 2009, a wonderful moment in Husker football history will be celebrated. Memorial Stadium, home to the Cornhuskers since 1923, will celebrate an unprecedented and NCAA-record 300 consecutive sellouts with the third sellout of the 2009 season. The Louisiana-Lafayette game will begin at 6 p.m. and will be available to the public via pay per view through Fox Sports Net.
to Wear Throwback Uniforms
As part of the 300th straight sellout celebration, the 2009 Huskers will wear uniforms designed by adidas to match those worn by Nebraska in 1962. The uniforms (numbers 1 through 99) will be auctioned to the public as full sets, including pants, jersey and helmet, on Huskers.com this fall. The auction will begin in conjunction with the first week of fall football practice and end the week of Oct. 4. Minimum bids for each set will be $500. Replica jerseys and helmets will also be available for sale through Huskers Authentic.
In addition, all Husker letterwinners and staff who were a part of the 1962 team have been invited to return to the site of the nation's longest sellout streak for this occasion. The 1962 team will be a part of Homecoming festivities and will be honored on game day.
Devaney Family Will Be Honored
The sellout streak began in former NU Head Coach Bob Devaney's first season in Lincoln after moving his family from Wyoming. When he arrived, the Huskers had not posted a winning season since 1954 and had won just 15 games in the previous five seasons under Bill Jennings.
With a seating capacity of 31,080, the first sellout in Nebraska's ongoing NCAA streak took place on Nov. 3 against Missouri – Coach Devaney's seventh game. Unfortunately, the previously unbeaten 1962 Huskers lost the Homecoming contest, 16-7. Forty-seven years and 297 games later, the sellout streak is going strong with every game in 2009 expected to sell out.
Devaney's first team finished 9-2. Devaney-coached teams would go on to lose just nine games in 11 seasons in Memorial Stadium during the streak, while his Hall-of-Fame successor, Tom Osborne, lost just 16 home games in 25 years.
Osborne, now Nebraska's athletic director, is pleased to announce that the Devaney family, including son Mike, daughter Patricia and their children, will be in attendance for the 300th sellout and will be a part of the weekend's activities.
"We want to thank Bob Devaney and his family for getting it all started back in 1962," Osborne said. "In addition, we especially thank the fans who have been so supportive over the past 47 years."
Additional Sellout Streak Notes
- Notre Dame is second in all-time consecutive sellouts with 205, 92 fewer than Nebraska.
- The Huskers are 258-39 during the 297 sellouts to date. The mark includes a 39-24 record against ranked teams.
- Nebraska is 5-0 in the five milestone sellouts during that period (50th, 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th sellouts), including a 24-7 win over No. 2 Colorado on Oct. 29, 1994 (No. 200) and a 44-13 victory over Utah State on Sept. 7, 2002 (No. 250).
- Nebraska will have played 75 different opponents from 35 different states during the 300-game sellout streak.
- Nebraska coaches lost just 39 games in 47 years at home during the streak. Bob Devaney (1962 to 1972, 11 years) posted a 50-9 record; Tom Osborne (1973-1997, 25 years) went 145-16; Frank Solich (1998-2003, 6 years) posted a 38-4 record; Bill Callahan was 19-8 (2004-2007, 4 years); and current head coach Bo Pelini is 6-2 (2009-present).
Salute to the Fans
The athletic department recognizes that the sellout streak would not be possible without loyal fans that have followed the Huskers across the country for five decades. As a thank you to the best fans in collegiate football, other activities are being planned. A partial listing of the 300th consecutive sellout events and activities include:
- A commemorative logo, exclusive to adidas, will be used in official 300th sellout apparel and be available at the Huskers Authentic Team Store and other Husker retail shops.
- Game tickets and programs designed to look like those printed in the early 1960s.
- A commemorative ticket will be sold at Huskers Authentic for $5 each. Each of the 300 ticket stubs were donated to the athletic department by Willis and Fran Regier of Omaha.
- The commission of a Mike Sullivan painting for display in the Osborne Athletic Complex lobby. The painting by the nationally known artist is part of a salute to Husker fans and is planned to be complete the week of the game.
- The game will be designated as Homecoming, as chosen by NU student leaders, providing an appropriate theme for "throwback" floats and other displays.
- The Homecoming parade will feature members of the 1962 team and will end at the Wick Alumni Center, where the 1962 team will be recognized at a reception.
- An on-site display in the fall featuring memorabilia from the 1960s.
Huskers.com to Launch New Site July 1;
In conjunction with internet partner NeuLion, Huskers.com, the official website of NU Athletics, has been redesigned and officially launches as a new site on July 1.
Nebraska's director of creative services, Randy York, oversees the new site. He said new value-added services for fans include:
- A video portal that delivers exclusive features and highlights
- A photo store that enables fans to buy their favorite pictures online with ease
- An auction site that gives fans opportunities to bid on Husker items and experiences
- Embedded video that complements the top stories on the Huskers.com homepage
- An interactive poll where fans vote online to timely Nebraska-related questions
"Huskers.com has a sleeker look and feel and substantially increased functionality," York said. "These new capabilities will elevate our website's viewing experience, and we think they can help make Huskers.com a true online destination for countless people – those who have been loyal readers for years and those who don't know what they're missing."
To celebrate the launch of the Photo Store, the athletic department is pleased to offer 15 percent off and free shipping on custom-framed photos for all Nebraska fans. The grand opening offering has limited timing, so be sure to check out Wednesday's official launch for more details.
In addition to new interactive and marketing services, York said the newly designed site also is accommodating increased sponsorship and advertisement placements.
Huskers Authentic Grand Re-Opening
Husker fans also will enjoy great new products and management of the Huskers Authentic Team Store, which will celebrate its grand re-opening on July 3 in Lincoln.
"We have a new look, a new way of operating and a professional, service-minded staff," said Michael Stephens, assistant athletic director for marketing, licensing and concessions. "This business is all about selection and service, and we think the decisions we've made put us in position to serve our fans better than ever."
For the weekend of July 3-5, Husker fans get 30 percent off a wide selection of Nebraska adidas gear, a promotion timed perfectly for the start of the 2009 season.
Now owned and operated by the Nebraska Athletic Department, Huskers Authentic will be managed by Gregg Lingenfelder, an athletic department employee.
"Huskers Authentic is a very attractive store, and we think we can manage it more effectively internally," Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said Monday night on his monthly radio program on the Husker Sports Network.
"We're ready to take this business where it's supposed to be," Stephens said. "We've listened to what our fans want, and we're excited for them to come along with us on this new ride in retail."
Huskers Authentic has gotten a facelift, but is still located in the lower level of the Stadium Drive parking garage west of Memorial Stadium.
Beginning July 1, Nebraska fans also will be able to purchase authentic team gear online at the new and improved Huskers Authentic Team Store. Online operation of the Team Store will be outsourced to Team Fan Shop, "We're excited about that relationship, too," Stephens said. "All of our fans living outside of Lincoln have been asking for more selection and better service, and that's what we're going to give them."