LINCOLN, Neb. -- The week of the sold-out Bruce Springsteen concert in Omaha last month, you could call a local ticket broker and pay $39 for a seat.
For Saturday's sold-out Nebraska spring football game, that broker is getting $95 a ticket.
"I'm not going to be one to judge the craziness of Nebraska football fans," Ticket Express owner Chad Carr said. "The weird thing about this game, I can't keep tickets in stock."
This, remember, is not a real game. It's a scrimmage.
Nebraska isn't the only place where football craziness exists in the spring.
Alabama had 78,200 folks turn out for its spring game last weekend. This after a college football-record spring game crowd of 92,138 showed up in 2007 to see first-year coach Nick Saban lead the Crimson Tide through the glorified scrimmage.
"We weren't prepared for that overwhelming response," Alabama athletic marketing director Jennifer Martin said. "You just never believe that many people are going to come to a practice."
Admission is free at Alabama. Nebraska has charged for decades, but it cost only $3 when Tom Osborne was coaching national championship teams in the mid-1990s.
The spring thing started to take off in 2004 when Bill Callahan's West Coast offense rekindled enthusiasm among fans who were hungry to see a program makeover. The school set its spring record attendance of 63,416 in 2005. The count slipped to 57,415 in 2006 and 54,288 last year.
After last fall's 5-7 record marked the second losing season in four years and led to Callahan's firing, the Husker faithful are primed to see what new coach Bo Pelini has in store.
"We didn't have to do a whole lot of marketing or advertising. It pretty much sold itself," Nebraska athletic marketing director Corrie Sears said. "It's our fans being excited about the new era with Tom Osborne back (as athletic director) and Bo Pelini."
Spring fever strikes other places, but to a lesser degree. A throng of 61,000 turned out for Florida's nationally televised game last Saturday. But attendance was "just" 33,624 for defending national champion LSU and 23,306 at Oklahoma.
"What we have here is very special," Sears said, "and what we have are very passionate fans. The spring game is becoming more of an event, and we're treating it more like a real game for our fans."