One of the foundations for Nebraska's athletic success is its outstanding facilities, and few home courts in the country are as tradition-rich as the Nebraska Coliseum, the home of the Husker volleyball program. Over the years, the 4,030-seat NU Coliseum has provided the Nebraska volleyball program with an unmatched home-court advantage.
"Winston Churchill said 'in the beginning, we build buildings. In the end, we are shaped by the buildings we live in.' I think the Coliseum shapes Nebraska volleyball," Former Nebraska volleyball coach Terry Pettit said. "It's an environment that creates intimacy. It's a classic structure and in a lot of ways reflects what the Nebraska program is all about."
The Coliseum, which sits nestled on the University campus, is a beautiful display of architecture, highlighted by its powerful Roman columns gracing the front steps. But while it's beauty is appreciated by Husker players, coaches and fans, it is one of the most dreaded places for opponents to play in the sport of volleyball, and arguably one of the toughest places to play in college athletics.
"If the volleyball gods wanted to build a volleyball court, the Coliseum would be it," NU Coach John Cook said. "It's a very intimate setting. Everyone feels part of the event."
Nebraska volleyball has had unmatched success in the confines of the cozy Coliseum, posting 19 undefeated seasons and compiling an all-time record of 509-33 (.939) under its roof. The Huskers are 238-16 (.937) since 1990 in the building, including 12 undefeated seasons in that span.
The win streaks are a direct result of Nebraska's frenzied crowds that routinely jam the building's bleachers. The Huskers finished second nationally in attendance in 2011 with a Coliseum average attendance of 4,522, a total that is 102 percent of the Coliseum's listed capacity. Single-match tickets in 2012 sold out in just 20 minutes. Nebraska enters the 2012 season with 164 straight sellouts in the building dating back to 2001.
The Coliseum's roots go back to the 1920s when it was the home for the Husker basketball team. NU's cagers played on its hardwood floors from 1926 to 1977, when the construction on the Bob Devaney Sports Center was completed.
Since then, the volleyball team has been its lone tenant. In 1991, the Huskers had a one-year hiatus from the Coliseum while the building was being renovated and tailored for volleyball. The renovation provided a more comfortable atmosphere for players, coaches and fans.
Over the years, the building has seen numerous additions to add to the comfort of both players and fans, while keeping the tradition of the building and the Husker volleyball program. Over the past decade, locker rooms, training areas and coaches offices have all been upgraded to provide Husker student-athletes with some of the best facilities in the country. For fans, HuskerVision replay boards, a new scoreboard and new displays have been added, recognizing the great heritage and tradition of the program.
Additional seating for fans was created in 2005, with the addition of the Husker Courtside Club. This added 64 premium seats on the Coliseum floor, giving fans an up-close view of all of the exciting volleyball action, and making Nebraska one of the first programs in the country to add premium courtside seating for volleyball.
Yearly Home Attendance Since 1990
From Omaha's Eppley Airport: Exit the airport to the stoplight. Turn right onto Abbott Drive. Go approximately one mile to Storz Expressway (Abbott Drive turns into Storz Expressway). Proceed approximately three miles to I-480 South. Follow the signs and get onto I-80 West to Lincoln. Follow I-80 for about 60 miles and take the 27th Street Exit. Follow 27th Street south to Vine Street and turn right. Go west on Vine until you reach 14th Street. The Coliseum is located a half block west of the 14th and Vine streets intersection.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications