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Excitement comes from new arena PDF E-mail

Even though the Husker men’s basketball is suffering through a pretty miserable season record-wise, I can’t help but feel excitement in the air.
Why you ask? Well, the guys, along with the Husker women’s team, are down to just a few more games in the old Bob Devaney Sports Center, moving next season to the brand spanking new Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln’s Haymarket District. (If you’ve been to Lincoln recently on the west edge of town, you can’t miss it.)
I was lucky enough to attend the first-ever basketball game at the Bob, a 71-57 Husker loss to Iowa on Nov. 27, 1976. That Husker team went on to a 15-14 overall record but lost their final four games, including a 61-58 setback to Kansas in the season finale.
That’s back in the good old days when the conference played a 3-day preseason conference tournament in Kansas City in late December. During that season the guys lost to Colorado (55-50) in the first tournament game, then came back to beat Iowa State (75-55) and Oklahoma (66-56).
The Devaney Center was built at a cost of $13 million. The new arena? How does $180.7 million sound?
The Bob seats 13,595 for Husker basketball games, while the new digs will seat 15,391 fans. But it does come with a few perks, including three concourses, 36 executive suits, 20 loge boxes, 900 club seats, 115 spaces for wheelchairs, two private club lounges and my favorite, 73 concession stands.
Throw in a Huskers Authentic team store in the south lobby and now we’re talkin’.
The Devaney Center had its share of the spotlight when it came to basketball. It hosted NCAA basketball tournament games in 1980, 1984 and 1988. I remember attending games in one of those years, seeing Kansas, Wake Forest and even Illinois State.
The Bob has given the men’s team a winning home record every single year for 37 seasons. The guys have a 448-154 all-time record since 1975 so it’s taken good care of the Cornhuskers.
It also is home to the NU swimming and diving teams, wrestling, track and field and will be, starting next fall, the home of Husker volleyball.
So while the Devaney Center will be missed for basketball, I can’t wait to see the new high definition video boards, the new ribbon boards, the stats boards and the state-of-the-art sound system at the Haymarket.
After all, nostalgia only takes one so far.
***
I’m still examining and dissecting this year’s Husker football recruiting class and trying to compare it to the competition’s.
Scout.com listed Nebraska in at No. 11 this year, but everyone trailed No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan, so the Big Ten was well represented at the top.
Nebraska signed nine four-star players, which is a pretty good haul. The Buckeyes signed four five-star players and 17 four-stars, while the Wolverines inked four five-stars and 15 four-stars.
Personally, I think this is Bo Pelini’s best class hands-down, and I say that because it made his team so much more athletic.
As far as the Big Ten is concerned, don’t look now but there is a sizable gap forming between the big three and the little nine.

DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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