As the pandemic continues, sports at all levels are being forced to innovate and come up with creative solutions to previously unimaginable problems.
For the University of Nebraska volleyball program, one of those out-of-the-box solutions might involve moving home matches to a new venue.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the idea would be to relocate Husker volleyball to Pinnacle Bank Arena to allow for a maximum number of fans to attend while maintaining social distancing.
Head coach John Cook, speaking on a podcast, said that the Devaney Sports Center, the Huskers’ typical home arena, could host 2,500 safely right now. But the larger Pinnacle Bank Arena could increase that cap to about 8,000.
"We're coordinating with Pinnacle Bank Arena right now on what matches we might move there," Cook said on his podcast.
Pinnacle Bank Arena has a seating capacity of 15,500, while the Devaney Sports Center caps out at about 8,000. Relocating to a larger arena could allow for all Husker volleyball season ticket holders to attend events held there. Events at the Devaney Center would likely require season ticket holders to attend on a rotating basis.
The larger space won’t be available for all Husker volleyball matches, so both venues will have to be used regardless.
Meanwhile, while the Big Ten volleyball schedule hasn’t yet been released, Cook said that he’s seen it and that this year’s slate includes more matches against schools in the Big Ten West to help mitigate travel expenses.
"What it allows is the Purdues, the Illinois, the Wisconsins, the Northwesterns, the Penn States ... the Michigans, they can now bus to a lot of different places and not have to fly because they're going to play more teams in their region," Cook said.
The non-conference slate is also expected to be focused on more regional opponents.