You’d be hard-pressed to squeeze 90,000 Husker fans into this Memorial Stadium.
But you’ll still spot concession stands, restrooms, a scoreboard and statues of former Husker greats.
It’s just scaled down. And made entirely of paper products.
David Ashby, who goes by Trey to family and friends, spent nearly three months reproducing the tiniest details of Memorial Stadium into a paper replica.
The Papillion man wrapped up the project this week.
Ashby, 30, said he’s always been interested in stadiums. He held onto a binder full of his junior high drawings of different stadiums. In recent years, he’s toyed around with building stadiums he designed out of paper.
Last year, he built a replica of Rosenblatt, the former home of the College World Series. It isn’t quite as detailed as his new Memorial Stadium. Ashby said he did pay attention to detail, making sure the ballpark included flags of all teams who played in the last College World Series held there.
He sent updates to a buddy as he worked on the ballpark. It took him about three months to build that replica.
That friend encouraged Ashby to share construction updates from the Memorial Stadium replica on Twitter. He grew a steady following. And as he finished parts of the project, he sent photos and shared fun facts he learned along the way.
To build the replica — it’s 20 inches by 15 inches and about 6 inches tall — Ashby consulted Google Earth. He was able to zoom in on the 3D images to scale the stadium as accurately as possible.
The structure of the replica is held up by pieces of manila envelopes. Things that aren’t weight-bearing were made from white printer paper or white construction paper. (No newspapers were harmed in the making of the stadium.)
Ashby, a physical education teacher in the Omaha Public Schools, fumbled when it came to the goal posts. He needed something sturdier than your standard piece of paper. Then it clicked: He could use a paper plate, just like the one he was eating a cookie off of one night.
Much of the work was done by trial and error. He cut pieces larger than he expected to need and trimmed them to fit.
To get the details right, he snapped photos during a trip to the stadium with his 4- and 1-year-old sons. He has the sellout streak written on the mezzanine. Outlines of statues dot the outside of the stadium, including one of Tom Osborne and Brook Berringer.
“I think that’s what makes it cool. Getting down to every tiny detail,” Ashby said.
From start to finish, the project took about 12 weeks. He spent about an hour each night for five nights a week working on the project.
The stadium caught Larry the Cable Guy’s eye on Twitter. And Runza added that it’s meat-filled sandwiches were the only thing missing from the replica.
Right now, the stadium fits nicely in a file cabinet for safekeeping. Ashby may display it, but he’s also open to selling the replica if the right offer comes along.
Ashby has been a Husker fan all his life. Growing up in the ’90s, he said Husker football is an institution for him. He keeps a shoebox stuffed with tickets from Husker games. When he and his wife were into antiquing, they picked up a handful of Husker items, including a pennant from 1971.
Now he shares season tickets with his family in South Stadium. (That part of the replica is particularly detailed.) For away games, his family goes to his parents’ house for viewing parties.
“It’s not just some game kids are playing on a field. It’s something that brings the community together and brings families together,” Ashby said. “I don’t think it’s ridiculous to say that football’s a part of your life, even being just a fan.”
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Nebraska fans topple the goal posts following the Huskers' 24-7 home victory over No. 2 and 3 ranked Colorado on Saturday, Oct. 29, 1994. It was the eighth time in Memorial Stadium history that the posts were torn down. The Huskers (9-0) dominated the first half while taking a 17-0 lead and holding a 234 to 89 edge in total yards. Nebraska defeated Colorado 24-7.
Nebraska running back Ahman Green is consoled by an unidentified husker fan after Nebraska was upset by Arizona State University on Saturday night, Sept. 21, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. ASU defeated Nebraska 19-0.
Nebraska fans Brian Bumann and Nancy Brewer of Spencer, Iowa, enjoy a moment in the rain as they watched Saturday's Nebraska Cornhuskers Football vs. Iowa State game in Ames, Iowa. It was the first time since the last Spring Game that the boyfriend and girlfriend have seen their Huskers play. Nebraska defeated ISU 49-14.
Cindy Swigart of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, formerly of Omaha, Nebraska, adds a Husker flag to her tailgate party on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 30, 1996, outside of ProPlayer Stadium. The University of Nebraska playied Virgina Tech in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1996. Nebraska defeated Virgina Tech 41-21 .
Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, center, signs a football for fan Eric Stratton of Columbia, Maryland, as his wife Nancy looks on shortly before the team departed from the Lincoln, Nebraska, airport, for Miami, Florida. Stratton, a 1985 NU graduate, was in Lincoln for the holidays. Osborne and the Huskers were headed to Miami to play in the Orange Bowl. It would be Osborne's final game as head coach. Nebraska defeated Tennessee 42-17 to win a share of the national title.
Fans at 72nd and Dodge Streets in Omaha, Nebraska, celebrate after the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Tennessee Volunteers in the Orange Bowl on Friday, Jan. 2, 1998. The second-ranked Huskers manhandled third-ranked Tennessee 42-17 to complete a 13-0 season and earn a a share of the national championship.
Nebraska fans Tom Poeue, left, and Mike Novak, both of Lincoln, Nebraska, cheer on the Huskers on Monday night, Aug. 29, 1983, during the Kick-off Classic, featuring the Huskers and Penn State, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Nebraska defeated Penn State 44-6.
Disappointed Nebraska cheerleaders take in the moment after Nebraska lost in the 1984 Orange Bowl to the University of Miami on Monday, Jan. 2, 1984, in Miami, Florida. Nebraska failed on a two-point conversion attempt with 48 seconds left that would have won the game and the national championship. A successful kick would have tied the score. Miami's Ken Calhoun broke up the conversion pass from quarterback Turner Gill to I-back Jeff Smith, leaving the inspired Hurricanes with a 31-30 upset victory over the top-ranked Cornhuskers. "We were trying to win the game, " Nebraska Coach Tom Osborne said. "I don't think you go for a tie in that case. You try to win the game. We wanted an undefeated season and a clear-cut national championship."
Nebraska football coach Frank Solich signs a T-shirt for Special Olympic athlete Caleb Crippen, 13, of Hickman, Nebraska, during Media Day at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2000. Solich was fired on Saturday night, Nov. 29, 2003, after winning more than 75 percent of his games over six seasons. Solich took over after Tom Osborne retired after the 1997 season. Solich was 42-9 in his first four seasons. He was Big 12 coach of the year in 1999 and 2001, won the 1999 conference title and his team played for the national championship after the 2001 season.
From left: Husker fans Jim Colburn, Dick Upah and Bill Sims watch a football scrimmage at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday, Aug. 16, 2002.
Amanda & Jeremy Stutzman of David City, Nebraska, wait with other Huskers fans outside of the Rose Bowl before the game on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2002, in Pasadena, California. The Miami Hurricanes defeated the Huskers 37â€“14 to win their fifth national title.
Fans hold up placards in the east stands to celebrate Nebraska's 250th consecutive sellout on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2002, as the Nebraska played Utah State in a college football game on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2002 ,in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Utah State 44-13.
Seats were plentiful and fans sparse at the Independence Bowl on Friday Dec. 27, 2002, in Shreveport, Louisiana. The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers played Ole Miss in the Independence Bowl. Ole Miss defeated Nebraska 27-23. The Huskers sealed their first non-winning season in 41 years on Friday night. The Huskers ended their season with a record of 7-7.
Bill Callahan meets the fans at the kickoff of the Husker Nation Tour at the First National Bank plaza in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday, June 25, 2004. It gave fans a chance to see, hear, ask questions and get Callahan's autograph.
From left: Steve Thelen of Lincoln, Nebraska, Matt Keyes and Jeff Gunn, both of Omaha, Nebraska, finally had plenty to cheer about following the first blocked punt on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, as the Huskers took on Missouri. Nebraska defeated Missouri 24-3.
Husker fan Kevin Wulf of Superior, Nebraska, gets a close up view of pregame warmups as Nebraska played Wake Forest at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday evening, Sept. 10, 2005. Nebraska defeated Wake Forest 31-3.
Husker fans embrace Terrence Nunn after his long first quarter touchdown at the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team against the Michigan Wolverines at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, December 28, 2005. Nebraska defeated Michigan 32-28.
Husker fans hope for revenge after losing to Kansas 40-15 in 2005. Nebraska played Kansas in a Big 12 college football game on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska got their revenge and defeated Kansas 39-32.
Marilyn Beebe of Lincoln, Nebraska, watches the end of regulation time during the Nebraska vs. Kansas football game on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006, in Lincoln. Kansas rallied to force overtime, but Nebraska prevailed with a 39-32 win. Beebe said the game was little more tense then she liked.
Retro dressed fans with a retro sign from left: Matt Thkemeier, Ben Grabenstein, both of Omaha, Nebraska, Adam Grabenstein of Eustis, Nebraska, Chris Kramer of Omaha and Bob Floth of Snickley, Nebraska, cheer on the Nebraska football team. Nebraska played Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006. Oklahoma defeated Nebraska 21-7.
With victory in the bag, Husker Glenn Patterson shoots pictures of fans behind Nebraska's bench with a tiny camera in the fourth quarter of the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Dec. 20, 1969. The Huskers took on Georgia in the bowl and defeated the Bulldogs 45-6.
Wait, that's not everyday of the year! Sorry, we only included the days Nebraska football has played. NU an all-time record of 0-0 on every unlisted day. But, if you enjoy all things Husker football, follow @HuskerHistory on Twitter.
A Husker fan reacts as Nebraska plays Oklahoma State in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007. Oklahoma State defeated Nebraska 45-14.
A fan sends a message from the stands as Nebraska played Oklahoma State University in Big 12 college football action on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Oklahoma State defeated Nebraska 45-14.
The exodus for the halftime concessions began early in the second quarter as a fan signed his displeasure during the Nebraska vs. Oklahoma State football game on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2007, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Oklahoma State defeated Nebraska 45-14. It was coach Bill Callahan's fourth season as coach. In 2007, Callahan finished with a 5-7 record.
University of Kansas student Andrew Claassen, left center, taunts University of Nebraska fan Adam Loecker after Kansas went up 48-21 in the second quarter during the Nebraska Cornhuskers' football game against the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday, Nov. 2, 2007. Claassen and Loecker are friends from high school in McPherson, Kansas. Loecker said he was not surprised by the Nebraska performance in the first half. Kansas defeated Nebraska 76-39.
Mick Wiater of Papillion, Nebraska, enjoys pre-game festivities as the Nebraska Cornhuskers prepare to take on the Clemson Tigers in the Gator Bowl on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, in Jacksonville, Florida. Nebraska defeated Clemson 26-21.
Larry the Cable Guy, aka Pawnee City, Nebraska, native Dan Whitney, signs autographs for fans before the game. The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers played the Clemson Tigers in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, on January 1, 2009. Nebraska defeated Clemson 26-21.
Nebraska football players Jim Anderson, left, and Jerry List autograph some footballs for Mark Rouse, 8, of Lincoln, Nebraska, during a Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1971, autograph session.
Nebraska fan Rose Crowley of Omaha, Nebraska, sports a hat she bought in 1982. She said she wears it to every homecoming game. Nebraska played Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 55-0.
Nebraska fans fill Memorial Stadium during the 300th consecutive sell-out football game against Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 55-0.
Nebraska fans from left: Steve Hernandez, Brett Kay, Brett Gotch and Calvin Kramper of South Sioux City, Nebraska, cheer for the Huskers dressed as the band KISS against Baylor at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009. Nebraska defeated Baylor 20-10.
Husker fan Ron Freiburger, left, celebrates as his good friend and Oklahoma fan Jack Land shows disappointment in the Sooners. Land grew up in Oklahoma while Freiburger grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. The two friends now live in Los Angeles, California. The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers took on the University of Oklahoma Sooners at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009. Nebraska defeated Oklahoma 10-3.
Dann Leffler of West Point, Nebraska, wears his homemade ears of corn as Nebraska played Kansas at Kivisto Field in Lawrence, Kansas, on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. Nebraska defeated Kansas 31-17.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne visits with fans following the Huskers' 20-10 victory over Baylor at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009.
University of Nebraska cheerleader Kim Huhmann leaps into the air for a photo near the San Diego Bay before performing in a battle of the bands pep rally at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California, on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009. The Husker football team was in San Diego to play Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. The Huskers defeated Arizona 33-0.
Nick Schwenck, 13, of Phoenix, Arizona, center, stands with his father Tim Schwenck, right, outside of Qualcomm Stadium before the start of the Holiday Bowl, in San Diego, California, on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009. Tim Schwenck is originally from Ashland, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Arizona in the Holiday Bowl 33-0 for win.
Nebraska fans cheer for the Huskers as they return to the locker room following warmups at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010. Nebraska defeated Washington 56-21.
Eli Spencer, 11, from Denver, Colorado, shows his Blackshirt crossbones. The Nebraska Cornhuskers played a football game against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Oct. 30, 2010. Nebraska defeated Missouri 31-17.
Nebraska seniors from left: Tyler Legate, Austin Jones, Jim Ebke and Lance Thorell take the field ahead of the rest of the team on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, before playing Tennessee Chattanooga at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Huskers defeated Tennessee Chattanooga 40-7.