LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s gameday tradition of fans releasing helium-filled red balloons to celebrate the Cornhuskers’ first touchdown is ending.

The tradition of passing out balloons to fans dates to the early 1960s. Athletic director Trev Alberts announced on his radio show a global shortage of helium led to the decision.

Russia is one of the top helium suppliers and Alberts said U.S. sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine have caused a shortage. Alberts said university leaders want the helium that would have been used in the balloons to go to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for medical use.

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