Fans greeted with lower-intensity temperatures
Maybe it was the mental preparation or a modest breeze throughout the stadium, but Game Day seemed cooler this week. At halftime, the Red Cross had recorded 39 medical calls, and only about 24 of those were heat-related, according to Cornhusker Community Chapter Executive Susan Epps said.
Daytime temperatures peaked about 4 p.m. at 94 degrees, with a heat index of 96. But by 5 p.m. kickoff, the temperature was 86 and the heat index had already dropped to 89, according to the National Weather Service at Lincoln Airport.
Consistent cloud cover shielded fans from afternoon sun, and upper East Stadium ticket-holders experienced fresh air that jam-packed fans closer to the sidelines couldn't claim.
Gina Ripa of Omaha has been attending Husker games for years, but today was the first game she watched from the sixth level of East Stadium. The panoramic view, she said, is made even better with airy seating.
“It's been so breezy, and there's so much room,” Ripa said.
But on the field this week, where the temperature is rumored to run 15 degrees higher than outside the stadium, the Cornhusker Marching Band made some compromises. The band performed in short-sleeved polos, rather than full uniform, as a cautionary measure, according to Anthony Falcone, associate director of bands. Falcone said the directors made the decision about 1:30 p.m., when temperatures were still predicted to linger near 100 at kickoff.
“What most people don't realize is that we do a two-hour rehearsal from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.,” he said. “So the kids are already beat down from the sun.”
Epps called midgame medical reports “not bad at all.”
“I'm looking at 86F right now,” she said. “We've been blessed.”
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