What helium shortage? Football tradition is back

2012-09-12T15:45:00Z 2012-09-12T21:10:05Z What helium shortage? Football tradition is backBy JORDAN PASCALE / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The balloons are back.

Before this season, the Nebraska athletic department said it would discontinue the 60-plus year tradition of fans releasing balloons after the Huskers' first score because of a nationwide helium shortage.

After re-evaluating the circumstances, however, the tradition is back.

Beginning with Saturday's game against Arkansas State, Husker fans will have about 2,000 balloons to release after the Huskers get on the scoreboard.

“We took another look at the helium inventory issue and how filling our gameday balloons might affect hospital levels of liquid helium, and we found that the risk really was not there like we first understood,” said Michael Stephens, Nebraska’s associate athletic director for marketing.

The balloon numbers may return to normal levels -- 5,000 balloons -- once the helium inventory returns to normal, according to a release from the athletic department.

"This time-honored tradition is an important part of Nebraska gameday, so we did more research, took another look at the problem and found that we could continue doing it on a smaller scale,” Stephens said.

Reach Jordan Pascale at 402-473-7120, jpascale@journalstar.com or follow him @LJSPascale.

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