ALSO CHECK OUT: 2014 College World Series coverage
OMAHA, Neb. -- There’s simply nothing like the College World Series in middle America.
Yep, the Final Four in basketball gets a larger audience and a much bigger stage, typically being played in a massive dome or arena somewhere around the country. Meanwhile, the college baseball title is crowned at the same place every year. And with that comes some seriously good perks, such as knowing the lay of the land in the city, while also having the luxury of making lifelong friends.
College baseball teams spend the entire spring each season talking about getting to TD Ameritrade Park, and getting to Omaha for the College World Series.
That’s unique, and it can’t be emulated anywhere else.
With that, we continue our series on college baseball traditions with our friends at the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), this time taking an inside look at four reasons why any baseball fan should want to attend the College World Series at some point in their lifetime.
1. Opening weekend at the College World Series: I always tell people who approach me about attending the CWS to make the opening weekend of what the locals here in Omaha simply term “The Series”. Though the crowds during the week after opening weekend dwindle down a bit (most people actually have to work, right?) the crowds opening weekend are terrific, and the atmosphere outside the ballpark is rather festive. And best of all, there are things around the ballpark for everyone. Kids have concerts, t-shirt shops and much more, and the adults out there have access to a multitude of entertainment options, both close to the ballpark and just a short walk down 10th street to the Old Market section of downtown Omaha.
2. The atmosphere inside the stadium: Yes, we’ve talked plenty about the lack of homers at TD Ameritrade Park and surprisingly long length of games. However, the atmosphere at the ballpark is still excellent outside of the 95-degree middle of the day games. The crowd is festive, people around here know their baseball, and best of all, you see college baseball fans from all over the country joined in one beautiful venue. While the Final Four might be played in a massive dome where players look like ants from some seats, TD Ameritrade Park is the opposite.
3. Omaha hospitality and more: Maybe it’s just during the College World Series, though I doubt it, but the people here in Omaha truly love embracing and having this event in their city. Have the CWS in Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago or Atlanta, and chances are very good the event wouldn’t be supported by a majority of the populous. But in Omaha? It’s all about the College World Series. Drive all the way out to 72nd street and Dodge, and you’ll see signs on businesses promoting the CWS. It’s that way all over the town, and the locals love to tell you about their favorite eateries, bars, CWS stories and more. Just a fair warning for you non-steak and Italian food people, there’s an affinity for those two things in this city. For me, that’s a huge plus.
4. Great overall baseball: Yes, we’d all like to see more homers, see as through 537 at bats in the CWS this year, we’ve yet to see a home run. But hey, we’re confident the NCAA will rectify the situation, likely sooner rather than later. Beyond the homers issue, you’re talking about the eight-best college baseball teams in the country assembling in one spot, many of them with conference or state pride on the list. That’s Americana for you, and it’s what makes this event extra special.