Post written by Chris Peterson | Managing Partner, Nebraska
Each June, college baseball’s best eight teams travel to Omaha for the NCAA College World Series (CWS). The 2017 teams are: Oregon State, Texas A&M, TCU, LSU, FSU, Florida, Cal State Fullerton, and Louisville.
The event has been hosted by Omaha since 1950 and played in the current downtown stadium – TD Ameritrade Park – since 2011.
The first CWS game I attended was in in the late 1980s – about 30 years ago. Back then, and up until 2010, the games were played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.
That old ballfield had considerable charm and decades of memorable play from memorable players. It was located in “South Omaha” near older neighborhoods and adjacent to the city’s exceptional Henry Doorly Zoo.
With time comes change and the old stadium – affectionately called “The Blatt” by locals and CWS regulars – was in need of much more than a makeover after the CWS marked 50 years in Omaha in 1999.
So after several years of discussion between the city and the NCAA, a modern ballpark was built and in return Omaha was granted a long-term agreement to host the CWS thru 2035. TD Ameritrade Park sits in a booming area of north downtown with hotels, bars and restaurants – and plenty of space for tailgating.
So the still-new stadium has been working on a few memories of its own. Opening weekend of the tournament – made up of eight teams that advanced from a playoff field of sixty-four – includes two games each day.
The Sunday games this year – and most years – coincide with Father’s Day, providing a great opportunity for fathers and sons to watch some baseball together.
This year I attended the opening weekend’s Sunday afternoon game – Louisville vs. Texas A&M – and brought along one of my four children; a Father’s Day treat.
Although the Omaha city skyline picture below turned out better than our father-son picture, both are symbolic of the memories tens of thousands of fans make at the College World Series every year.
So if you’ve never been, what are you waiting for? After all, there are memories to be made.