Now that the heat wave has seemingly ended in Lincoln, the Nebraska Athletic Department has announced that fans can no longer bring water into Memorial Stadium.
REMINDER: No outside food or drink policy back in effect for UCLA game, empty plastic bottles OK - http://t.co/x2eBRlMwer— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) September 12, 2013
The announcements are somewhat confusing, because it makes it sound like this a return to normal policy. It's not; the water policy is new. I've been bringing a bottle of water to Memorial Stadium for years, and have never, ever had an issue.
Why the change? Some will claim it's a security issue, like with the Transportation Security Administration's rule against bringing liquids past the security checkpoint. That's not the case here, though. If it were, this rule would have been enforced at the first game, no matter how hot it was. Security takes precedence over convenience. Here's the real story, per huskers.com :
Husker fans will not be allowed to bring in bottled water to Memorial Stadium for Saturday's game against UCLA with temperatures returning to near normal. With heat warnings and excessive temperatures at game time the past two weeks, Nebraska Athletics, stadium officials, and the local Pepsi distributor, LinPepCo, agreed to allow fans to bring in their own unopened bottles of water but the "No Outside Food and Drink Policy" is back in effect for the remainder of home games. Fans are allowed to bring in an empty plastic bottle to refill inside the stadium or to purchase water from authorized vendors.
Bottom line is that it's a money issue. Lincoln's Pepsi distributor wants to make money. The athletic department wants to make money. But last week, they didn't want to run the risk of someone not being hydrated the first two weeks because the concession stands ran out, like at last year's Southern Miss game. Now that the risk is over, it's now safer to implement the new policy.
If you don't want to pay $4 for a bottle of water, plan ahead and bring an empty bottle...and find time to locate a water fountain before the game. At least Nebraska still allows fans to bring in empty water bottles, unlike the Omaha Storm Chasers minor-league baseball team, which strictly enforces a must-purchase-water rule. But be prepared that if you try to bring a bottle in, it could be confiscated at the gate.