Huskers 2021 football season opener moved from Ireland to Illinois


FILE- In this Aug. 31, 2019 file photo, Nebraska fans fill General Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., during an NCAA college football game between Nebraska and South Alabama. Faced with the possibility college football games will be played in stadiums with reduced capacities as a safeguard against coronavirus, athletic administrators at schools with high ticket demand are making plans to determine who gets a seat. This is a particularly painful task for athletic director Bill Moos of Nebraska, which has sold out every home football game since 1962. The Cornhuskers are a year-round passion in his state. The season ticket renewal rate for the 2020 season is a robust 93 percent. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)

LINCOLN, Neb. (Huskter Athletics) – Following extensive consultation with the Irish government, medical authorities and the administrative staffs at Nebraska and Illinois, the 2021 season-opening football game scheduled for Aug. 28 between the two schools will not be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Huskers and Fighting Illini still plan to open the 2021 season on Aug. 28, but now the game will be played in Champaign at Illinois’ Memorial Stadium.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to travel to Ireland to open the 2021 football season in Dublin,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “The trip would have been a memorable experience for the young men in our football program, so I feel badly they won’t have this opportunity.

“There was also a high level of excitement and interest in the game among our great fan base, and I know many of them were looking forward to making the trip to cheer on the Huskers. Anthony Travel and Irish American Events have been a great partner throughout this process, and we will continue to explore the possibility of taking Nebraska Football to Dublin in the future.”

“It is desperately disappointing that it is necessary to cancel the 2021 Aer Lingus College Football Classic but public health must take precedent,” said Neil Naughton, Chairman of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. “These games offer huge publicity potential, practical economic benefits, and a genuine expression of the close ties between Ireland and the United States. We have made great friends with both the University of Illinois and the University of Nebraska and I look forward to welcoming them back to Ireland in the not too distant future and giving their travelling fans the welcome Ireland is so famous for.”

Ticketholders will be contacted by their purchase provider in the coming days.

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