The strength of the Husker Nation was underestimated as Big Ten Baseball Tournament play began Wednesday. A record tournament crowd sparked by a huge number of walk-up fans caught officials at TD Ameritrade Park off guard.
The result was a crowd that overwhelmed concessions but we’re told the problem has been solved.
The tournament is drawing fans. Not the 25,000 that College World Series fans are accustomed to seeing but good for the Big Ten. And the crowd is enhanced by Husker fans who are making their way to the park.
Beth Reed is one of them. She said, “I'm from Hastings. We came today to watch all the games but specifically the Huskers. So, it'll be a good time.”
All the interest, spiced by the key Husker ingredient, caused problems on opening day.
Kristi Anderson, with the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, said, “We had 10,474 people here, which was double what was anticipated.
“During the Husker game we had 3,000 people show up at the ticket window. That kind of put ticket-sellers behind the ball. There were some long lines out there and that translated to food service as well. We had really long concession stand lines that we weren’t prepared for.”
That changed Thursday. More concession stands were open and workers were ready for the record-breaking pace set by Husker baseball fans.
Andersen said, “We had a lot of red in the building yesterday, which we love. That’s the good part of this story. We have done very well. We've broken attendance records for the Big Ten Baseball Tourney already. We'll probably continue to do that the rest of the tournament.
The games continue through Sunday.