Nebraska’s Women’s Volleyball Team Set a New Attendance Record

Over 92,000 spectators showed up

Nebraska voleyball
A crowd of 92,003 people gather for the game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Omaha Mavericks during Nebraska Volleyball Day at Memorial Stadium on August 30, 2023.
Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

What sport would you guess would draw the largest crowd in women’s college athletic history? With the World Cup recently concluded, you might think it’s soccer, but that’s not the answer — and neither is basketball, another eminently understandable choice. Instead, it’s volleyball — with a game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Omaha Mavericks drawing a crowd of 92,003.

That’s not just an impressive statistic relative to women’s sports — that’s an impressive accomplishment when it comes to sports attendance, period. According to this analysis from Statistia, the average NFL game in 2022 was attended by 69,223 spectators. In the 2022-23 season, Manchester United — the Premier League team with the largest stadium capacity — averaged 73,815 fans per game.

What was responsible for this record-breaking accomplishment in Lincoln, Nebraska? As Smithsonian Magazine reports, it was due to a combination of factors — from high school volleyball players being encouraged to attend to the university allowing beer to be sold at the stadium’s concessions. Additional seats were placed on the ground level of the stadium to increase the stadium’s capacity beyond the 85,000 it can hold for football games.

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As the article pointed out, Nebraska’s volleyball team already has a penchant for drawing large crowds for the sport, albeit not quite in the “over 90,000 people” range. Having two local rivals play certainly didn’t hurt, either. The result was a must-attend event for the ages — and the record books.

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