OMAHA — The official University of Nebraska hot dogs that will be served at football games this fall are now being made in Illinois.
The company that makes the distinctive dyed-red, Fairbury-brand hot dogs moved production from West Point, Nebraska, to its Lansing, Illinois, plant this spring.
Land O'Frost bought the Fairbury brand from Wimmer's Meat Products in 2012.
CEO David Van Eekeren promises the Fairbury hot dog recipe hasn't changed even though they are now made elsewhere. The dogs have been served in Memorial Stadium since the 1960s.
The only exception was 1994 when the university's athletic department switched hot dog brands after Fairbury's owner refused to pay an additional $30,000. Fans objected and Fairbury hot dogs returned the following year.
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The company expects to sell roughly 95,000 hot dogs at football games this season.
"We're proud to be part of the University of Nebraska. The university is so important to the brand and the company that we wouldn't have wanted to close the deal unless the university was a part of it," Van Eekeren said.
Land O'Frost has extended its sponsorship agreement with the university through 2019.
The West Point plant employed about 125 people before it closed. Most of those workers have been hired by other area businesses, said West Point Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tina Biteghe Bi Ndong. Some investors may reopen the plant to process pork.