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University athletic departments all over the nation are brainstorming for ways to get more fans into enormous football stadiums.  

Nebraska evidently came up with a winner of an idea. 

That light show between the third and fourth quarters seems to be a hit with fans.  

"That's part of our mission," says Brandon Meier, NU's senior associate athletic director for marketing and multimedia.

He oversees HuskerVision, creative and emerging media and marketing and fan experience departments. 

"We want to make people say, 'Well, damn, I should've been in the stadium instead of sitting on my couch,'" Meier said. "People are talking about the light show and they're like, 'Man, you should've been there. It was way cooler in person.'

"We're always trying to give our fans a reason to come out and stay until the end as well." 

Nebraska plans to make the grand show a regular occurrence, says Meier, noting Big Ten officials quickly signed off on it. 

"You kind of have to get sign-off from them to shut the lights off between the third and fourth quarters," Meier says.  

Such a show wouldn't make sense in a game that has an 11 a.m. kickoff, for obvious reasons.

But a 2:30 p.m. game late in the season is doable, Meier says. 

What's more, he says, the score of the game must be taken into consideration on some level.

Meier, though, sounds intent on keeping the show going for the foreseeable future. 

"For night games, for sure, we'll keep doing it," he says. "I'd love to add some wrinkles to it." 

Unlike previous seasons, Nebraska now has the infrastructure and "tools" to pull it off, Meier says.  

When he joined the NU Athletic Department in October 2018, it had just recently installed a new lighting system in the stadium. In layman's terms, the new system didn't require significant time to warm up.  

"That was the first piece you have to have," Meier says. "Then we kind of started experimenting, saying, 'Hey, if you turn off all the lights and put red graphics everywhere, it kind of makes the place glow red.'" 

In 2019, Nebraska had an elaborate light show planned for the night game against Ohio State. Long story short, the program failed, for the most part.   

"There was one line of code that was wrong," Meier says. "We just kind of shut the lights off against Ohio State and played what I believe was the 'Cornhusker Song,' and it was still pretty cool. But we were like, 'Man, we would love to have a night game to get in the whole light show and sync to the music and all of that.'" 

"It's been crazy, the amount of positive feedback we've gotten." 

Some fans suggest songs other than "Thunderstruck" for the light show. 

Others say they were caught off-guard by the whole production. 

"People say everyone in their section gasped and scrambled for their phone," Meier says. "I think that's a cool part of it. It's interactive. Everyone's got their phones out. It isn't just our light show. Everybody's flashlight on their phone really adds to it."  

Fans having a good time in the big stadium? Mission accomplished. 

Scott Frost was proud of his team after a comeback falls short against Michigan.

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

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