Nebraska football fans will be down a tradition this fall.
NU athletic director Trev Alberts announced on Sports Nightly Monday that due to a helium shortage, red balloons would not be handed out to be released after the first Husker touchdown. Even during the postponed 2020 season where no fans were at games due to COVID-19, red balloons were on hand.
The tradition stretches back to the 1960s.
Part of the shortage is due to sanctions against Russia, one of the world's top helium suppliers. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has had far-reaching affects on the supply chain, and that now is hitting football Saturdays.
"We've talked a little bit in the past about the balloons and the environmental impact, and it's a real thing," Alberts said. "We've continued to do the balloons, but this year is a little bit different. ... Acquiring helium in today's day and age, some of the production of it is really challenged, and it's been hard to get.
"So we've been asked by the university, the helium that we are getting as a university, we need to use for medical purposes at UNMC in Omaha."
The NU marketing department is working on alternate celebrations.