As Nebraska football’s NCAA-record consecutive home sellout streak continues to stay alive, there’s been conjecture that the Huskers’ losing record under Scott Frost may not be the only reason it seems in jeopardy. After all, there’s a nationwide downward trend in college football attendance, and it would be natural for Nebraska to feel that effect.
Also, it’s been speculated that people might stay away because of COVID-19 concerns. The university has mandated that face coverings be worn in indoor spaces at Memorial Stadium.
I decided to ask about that possibility in my pregame survey before Nebraska hosted Buffalo on a blistering hot Saturday afternoon. Obviously, by asking people at a Nebraska football tailgate, I would overwhelmingly find people who planned to attend the game, but, I thought, maybe they at least know someone who is concerned enough about the pandemic to stay away from the stadium.
I spoke with 100 Husker fans in four different locations — at the Killigans’ performance outside the Cornhusker Hotel, at the HuskerMax tailgate at 8th and N streets, at the Railyard and at tailgates in parking lots between Pinnacle Bank Arena and Haymarket Park.
I asked this question: “Do you know anyone who is staying away from Husker football games today or in the future because of Memorial Stadium’s COVID-19 policy?”
An overwhelming 97 percent said no, they didn’t know anyone who planned to stay away due to the stadium's COVID-19 policy. This is the most one-sided response I’ve ever had for a pregame survey.
Three percent answered “Yes,” but two of them made it clear that they would stay away because they thought the policy is too strict.
Only one person said she knew someone who was staying away from the stadium because the policy is too lenient.