Memorial Stadium Expansion Celebration

The ribbon never stood a chance. A red-clad crowd of rabid Husker fans flocked to Memorial Stadium on Thursday for the ribbon-cutting and tour that officially marked the historic expansion of the stadium's east side.

It's a $63.5 million project bankrolled largely by private funds.

The renovation has expanded and elevated the height of the stadium's east side, added 6,000 new seats, 38 suites and a new club level. All of that will increase Memorial Stadium's average attendance to more than 91,000.

That's great news for Big Red fans. Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst told the crowd that the expansion marks the first time new non-premium football season tickets have been available to the general public for purchase between the 20-yard lines since Memorial Stadium was built 90 years ago.

East Memorial Stadium also will house a first-of-its-kind center that integrates UNL's athletic and research. Located near Gate 20, the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (CB3) will house UNL researchers at the forefront in the study of genetics, neuroscience, physiology, cognition and other areas of brain science. The center will feature state-of-the-art brain imaging technologies for UNL faculty.

"The East Stadium addition is a tribute to the dedication of our fans and generous contributions from our donors," Eichorst said. "These elements have come together to enable us to add to the stadium's capacity as well as to enhance the fan experience."

The Huskers will play their first game in the newly expanded stadium against the University of Wyoming on August 31. Public tours will be 5 to 9 p.m. September 18.

WOWT's Erin Murray was on hand for the celebration on Thursday. Be sure to check out her photos of the tour in the Image Gallery.

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