Angela May's Omaha Nebraska Real Estate Blog: Husker fans travel in droves for USC game

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Husker fans travel in droves for USC game

Here's an article I read about the big game today. We're having a big gathering and will be sending our positive energy to the left coast in hopes of a victorious homecoming for the Huskers! ~Angela
Husker fans travel in droves for USC game
By ERIC OLSON, AP Sports Writer
September 15, 2006

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Although Nebraska fans might not take over the 92,000-seat Los Angeles Coliseum the way they did Notre Dame Stadium in 2000, the Big Red faithful will make their presence known when the No. 19 Cornhuskers visit fourth-ranked Southern California on Saturday night.

"The level of interest has really been high for this," Omaha ticket broker Chad Carr said. "Other than the Nebraska-Notre Dame game in South Bend a few years back, this is the biggest road game that we've ever seen for the University of Nebraska."

Several factors have made Nebraska's first trip to USC since 1970 a red-letter event.

The Trojans won national titles in 2003 and '04 and narrowly missed winning another one last season. They've won 46 of their last 48 games and 27 in a row at home. The tradition-rich Huskers, after winning three straight to end last season, have started to re-emerge on the national scene under third-year coach Bill Callahan.

Nebraska also has a large alumni base in California and Arizona.

Lincoln attorney Rob Otte is going to the game with his son and two friends, with a stop in Las Vegas on Friday before heading to Los Angeles on game day. Otte said he rarely goes to many road games around the Big 12.

A game with USC at the Coliseum? California, here they come.

"The people that go treat this as a long weekend," Otte said. "It's a time to do something that's not only fun but again shows some sort of state unity."

Nebraska football has long been a unifying force in the state. Traveling to road games, especially at fun destinations, has become a fan tradition. The athletic department distributed 4,000 tickets for Saturday's game. USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said he expects 10,000 to 15,000 Huskers fans.

David Max, president of the Californians for Nebraska club, said he would be surprised if there weren't at least 25,000 people dressed in scarlet and cream.

"We're expecting a huge invasion," Max said.

Tickets, costing $65 apiece, were sold out in February. People with Nebraska zip codes bought 3,400 individual game tickets, Tessalone said, and 300 season ticket packages were sold to Nebraskans.

Carr, president of Ticket Express, said he's sold tickets for as high as $595. Los Angeles broker TickCo had 12th-row tickets near the 50-yard-line for $880 on Thursday.

When Nebraska traveled to South Bend in 2000, about a third of the 80,232 seats at Notre Dame Stadium were filled by Nebraska fans, some of whom chanted "Husker, home game!" Outside the stadium, Nebraska fans who didn't have tickets stayed in the parking lots and tailgated.

Carr said Notre Dame tickets purchased through brokers were a minimum of $350, with $500 the standard price. He said the USC game is "more attainable" for Nebraska fans.

"This is a big, big game where the average person, for $100 to $150, can get in the stadium," he said.

The 2,000-member Californians for Nebraska group is hosting a harbor cruise at Newport Beach and a banquet in Santa Ana on Friday. Max said more than 1,000 people -- including 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers and six other members of the 1970 national championship team -- will be at the group's tailgate party on Saturday.

Otte said three of the 10 attorneys in his office are making the trek to Los Angeles.

"It surprises me a little bit, how many people go on trips like this and how much they enjoy it every time they go," he said.

Then again, Otte said, he isn't surprised.

"It's the only real game in the state that people really follow," Otte said. "Nebraska is like a big small town where everybody kind of knows everybody. Bigger cities have a lot to do to divert attention. The university is significant in the state of Nebraska, and people all over the state pay attention to football. It's something that's really a cohesive force within the state."

# posted by Angela May @ 2:48 PM

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