92,003: Volleyball Day in Nebraska breaks attendance record for women’s sports

LINCOLN, Neb. — Volleyball Day in Nebraska served up a record day for attendance.

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The University of Nebraska women’s volleyball team drew 92,003 fans on Wednesday night, setting a world record for a women’s sporting event, KOLN-TV reported.

The Cornhuskers swept the University of Nebraska-Omaha at Memorial Stadium, home of the university’s football team.

The previous mark of 91,648 was set on April 22, 2022, when Barcelona defeated Wolfsburg 5-2 in a UEFA Champions League women’s match in Barcelona, Spain, according to the television station.

The Cornhuskers also broke the American record attendance, the largest crowd for any NCAA volleyball match and the largest NCAA volleyball regular-season attendance, KOLN reported.

The American record attendance for a women’s sporting event was 90,185 for the USA vs. China FIFA World Cup final on July 10, 1999, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, according to the television station. That was the match where Brandi Chastain famously ripped off her shirt after scoring the decisive penalty shot for the U.S.

The largest crowd for any NCAA volleyball match was 18,755, when Nebraska played Wisconsin on Dec. 18, 2021 in the NCAA Final in Columbus, Ohio. The largest NCAA volleyball regular-season attendance was 16,833, when Wisconsin hosted Florida in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 16, 2022.

Wednesday’s match also broke the attendance record at Memorial Stadium, topping the crowd of 91,585 that watched the Cornhuskers face the University of Miami in a 2014 football game, WOWT-TV reported.

The Nebraska athletic department had the idea to make history when it announced the event in February, the Lincoln Journal-Star reported.

At the time, Cornhusker volleyball coach John Cook and Gov. Jim Pillen wore cowboy hats as they stood next to athletic director Trev Alberts.

“We’re going to do this once,” Alberts said, according to the newspaper. “And I want to hope that the number is large enough that nobody dares even try to attack our all-time record.”

The university canceled classes on Wednesday for the match, WOWT reported.

Nebraska announced the attendance figure after the second set, drawing loud applause from the sellout crowd, the Journal Star reported.

The event began with an exhibition match between in-state Division II powers Nebraska-Kearney and Wayne State, The Associated Press reported.

Country music artist Scotty McCreery performed after the volleyball matches, KOLN reported.