College football spring games were once merely scrimmages held mostly for the benefit of the coaches and players. Now they are full fledged fan festivals and recruiting events complete with rock concerts and nation-wide television coverage.
Over 80,000 Husker fans poured into Memorial Stadium for the 2008 Red-White Game. It was the most well attended spring scrimmage in the nation. Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State and Florida each had over 60,000 fans in attendance and many schools saw their attendance climb from last year's spring game.
Attendance Up Nation-Wide
Many programs saw increased spring game attendance compared to last year. Many schools organize fan festivals around the spring scrimmage that include concerts and family-friendly entertainment in an effort to boost interest.
Illinois, West Virginia, Arkansas, Virginia, Colorado, and Missouri all saw crowds that were at least twice the size as last year. Notre Dame stood out as one of the bigger losers in attendance, with 40% fewer fans attending this year compared to last.
Husker Spring Game Attendance
Husker spring games saw a resurgence during the Callahan/Pederson era, but this was the first sell out in school history.
The NU staff reportedly did not want this year's spring game to be televised to prevent opposing teams from getting game film of the new program. Once that decision was made, the push was on to sell out the game. Husker fans were happy to oblige given the renewed optimism surrounding the return of Tom Osborne and Bo Pelini.
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