Quarterbacks and fans alike will have an easier time seeing the play clocks in Memorial Stadium this football season after the University of Nebraska added two high-definition scoreboards at field level.
“They’re LED scoreboards, so they’re a lot sharper and easier to read,” said Shot Kleen, NU’s assistant athletic director with HuskerVision. “The old ones had a light-bulb display, and they were pretty faded. Fans, coaches and the players should have good visual information right where they need it.”
The field-level scoreboards are located in the northeast and southwest corners, Kleen said. At 4 feet tall and 34 feet long, the scoreboards are “about the same size” as those they replaced, but they’re high-definition.
In addition to the play clock, the boards include all the usual information: team names, down and distance to go, possession arrows and time left in the quarter. Kleen said the scoreboards do not show videos.
Other stadium changes include new message boards in the north and south end zones. The boards — three in each end zone — were installed by the IMG College Husker Sports Network and will display sponsor information.
“I think the scoreboards and the message boards are going to be great additions,” Kleen said. “They are our biggest technology changes going into the season. I just hope the scores on our side of the boards go higher faster than the other team.”
Getting to Lincoln
Interstate 80 has only a couple of construction zones in place that could slow Husker fans headed to Lincoln, said Mary Jo Oie of the Nebraska Department of Roads: a 10-mile stretch of head-to-head traffic from Big Springs to Brule and a half-mile of one-lane traffic in each direction just east of North Platte.
In Omaha, the southbound I-80 on-ramp is closed for construction at West Center Road and U.S. Highway 6 (West Dodge Road) is reduced to two lanes for construction between 156th Street and 180th Street until Oct. 31.
New this year, fans from Omaha and Fremont will be able to take the U.S. Highway 77 Expressway around Wahoo.
Up-to-date statewide road information can be found online at www.transportation.nebraska.gov. Highway conditions and a brief weather report can be obtained by calling 511 on a land line or cellphone.
Lincoln road projects
Pavement repair along Old Cheney Road from Warlick Boulevard to 40th Street is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 8. The section from 27th to 40th Streets is scheduled to be completed by November 2015, weather permitting. The work will require lane closures, but a minimum of one lane will be open in each direction, and access to adjacent properties will be maintained.
A northbound lane on 27th Street will be closed for opening weekend just north of Nebraska Highway 2.
Mostly sunny with a high temperature near 93. South winds could gust to as high as 25 mph.
Last year’s $12.3 million technology upgrade of Memorial Stadium included installing the largest distributed antenna system and WiFi network in any college stadium in the nation.
Shot Kleen, NU’s assistant athletic director with HuskerVision, said he hopes fans will take advantage of the new connectivity by accessing the free “Official Nebraska Huskers App.” The mobile app offers special in-stadium-only features, including multiple angles of replays and live isolated camera feeds.
With more than 900 WiFi antennas throughout the stadium, Memorial Stadium has become one of the top venues in sports for cellphone connectivity, Kleen said. Fans also have the ability to utilize the stadium’s text-messaging service for their assistance. Text to 69050 and start your message with UNLPD. Standard text message rates will apply.
Increased law enforcement presence
The Nebraska State Patrol will be working overtime hours during the first three Husker home games thanks in part to a $3,230 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety. The patrol’s aviation division will be in the air assisting troopers and providing traffic reports before and after the games.
The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office will conduct “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose” enforcement stops through Sunday. Deputies will conduct a high-visibility checkpoint from 9 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday on Highway 34 just west of NW 31st Street.
Stadium Drive is closed from T to V Streets beginning at 7 a.m. on game days. Access to lots 1, 3, 4 and 6 are via T Street. New traffic patterns have been established on the streets around Memorial Stadium. No vehicles will have access to the southbound Ninth Street roundabout pre- and post-game. Southbound Ninth Street will be limited to one lane pre- and post-game. Northbound 10th Street will be limited to two lanes post game. Northbound traffic from 14th Street will be directed onto Salt Creek Roadway eastbound only. No southbound traffic will be allowed onto 14th Street from Salt Creek Roadway. Southbound traffic from the 14th and Avery Parking Garage (Lot 9) will be directed south to W Street, then east to 16th.
Lost and found
Stadium lost-and-found areas are located at the Guest Relations/Security offices inside the east and west stadium lobbies and are open 90 minutes pre- and 45 minutes post-game. People who find lost articles should contact event security or police officers. All found items will remain at the stadium until the end of the season. Items may be claimed by contacting Athletic Events at 402-472-1003.
Osborne Athletic Complex
The Traditions Lobby and the Nebraska Experience Room will be open to the public four hours before kickoff (videos will not be shown on game day). Guided tours are not available on game day. To schedule a tour, call 402-472-3333.
Assisted listening system equipment
Assisted listening system equipment is available at Guest Relations/Security offices located inside the West Stadium lobby and on the east side of the stadium inside gate 18.
ATMs are located on the north (gate 14), east (gate 20), south (gate 1) and west (between gates 6 and 8) concourses and in the lobby of the Stadium Drive parking garage (Lot 1).
Backrest policy and rental
Personal backrests (any shape or size) are not allowed in Memorial Stadium. Backrests are available for rent on a single-game basis ($5) at locations in the stadium throughout the concourse. Seat cushions without backs are permissible. The 600-level seats in East Stadium already have backrests.
Gates 3, 11, 15, 16A, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 23A and 24 are disabled-accessible.
The Red Cross provides emergency medical services in the stadium and at first aid stations located in the southeast corner of field level, East Stadium upper concourse, northwest concourse and west stadium club level of the stadium. The southeast and northwest aid stations will be staffed with Lincoln Fire and Rescue paramedics and EMTs to provide advanced medical care and facilitate any necessary transfers to area hospitals. Contact Red Cross volunteers, Boy Scout volunteers or stadium personnel for assistance. The Red Cross cannot assist fans to and from stadium seating. City of Lincoln police and fire chaplains also are available in the aid stations to provide assistance if necessary.
Game day schedule prior to kickoff
7 a.m.: Stadium Drive closed to vehicle traffic
4 hours: Ticket Office open, North Stadium lobby open (closes 30 minutes before kickoff)
3 hours: Husker Nation Pavilion opens, West Stadium lobby opens
3 hours: Gate 20 early opening for club and suite ticket holders only
2.5 hours: Unity Walk - football team arrives (East Stadium plaza)
1.5 hours: Stadium gates open
45 minutes: Band marches to stadium (gates 3 and 11)
20 minutes: Field cleared for pregame activities