Surprised Miles: Sold Out Sign Just a First Step
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Lane Grindle had the tweet of the day Friday when he heard a sold out sign is needed six months before Nebraska plays its first basketball game at Pinnacle Bank Area. One of the voices on Husker football and baseball, Grindle makes a compelling point.
Football has been sold out for an NCAA record 50 consecutive years, but will have 6,000-plus new seats this fall with the East Stadium Expansion Project increases Memorial Stadium capacity to 92,000-plus.
Volleyball has been sold out for 12 consecutive years – the longest sellout streak in the history of NCAA women’s sports. The Huskers will increase their venue capacity by 3,000-plus this fall when they move into a renovated Devaney Center.
The real shocker in this triple crown sellout achievement is men’s basketball joining those two legendary Nebraska programs. The Huskers have sold out their new 15,000-plus seat home in the downtown West Haymarket Area.
“I truly am surprised that we sold out the arena this quickly,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles told me early Friday evening. “I think we’re blessed with tremendous fans. I think they want to see a winner, and I think they’re excited about their new surroundings.”
Miles Asks Fans to Show Up, Stand Up and Shout
As excited as he was, Miles reminds everyone he wants more than just a sold out sign to keep Husker fans motivated. “I want everybody to show up. I want everybody to stand up, and I want everybody to shout at the top of their lungs when they get inside the arena.
“This is just the first step in a whole bunch of steps that we need to be a championship-level type team. That’s the goal,” Miles emphasized. “Selling out is very important in my book, but it’s just part of getting the wheels to turn up on that hill that we will all start climbing together.”
Selling out a season for the first time in Nebraska basketball history “is a great thing for our program,” Miles said. “It says a lot about our fans. It says a lot about the excitement of Pinnacle Bank Arena. It’s a positive sign for everyone associated with our basketball program. I give a lot of credit to our administration for making tickets affordable, so people can get inside that building and become an important part of the experience.”
Fans Make Their Statement with a Sold Out Sign
Marc Boehm, Nebraska’s executive associate athletic director in charge of basketball, said NU’s administrative team set an aggressive goal of selling 11,000 season tickets for the Huskers’ first year in the arena. “This is a great statement for our fans,” Boehm said. “But it’s also a testament to our people who have worked hard behind the scenes to make all this happen.”
Nebraska’s Marketing, Ticket Office, Husker Athletic Fund and Media Relations teams worked closely together to pull off a preseason upset. “I have to say our social media played a big part in this success, too,” Boehm said. “Tim’s one of the best and most creative coaches in the country. He knows how to communicate just like he knows how to coach. It’s going to be a lot of fun filling that place up. It’s a new era, and there’s a lot of excitement that comes with it.”
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