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NCAA Men’s College World Series Brings The World To Omaha | By Nate Stahlecker STADIUMS:

It is time. Your bags are packed, you have an aisle seat, and you are

  to Omaha, Nebraska.” Wait, did they just say Omaha, Nebraska? What is there? Isn’t that a

 -

bust culinary scene. At night you will discover friendly social settings,    One of the best times to be in Omaha is when the city hosts the

Men’s College World Series (or Men’s CWS). Over the course of two weeks in June, more than 350,000 fans will watch eight teams compete   fan, it is time to add this event to your bucket list. It is an experience unlike anything else, where baseball fanatics from across the country  In 2018, the Men’s CWS will welcome its 10-millionth fan, a mile-

 two years (1947-1948) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and moved to Wich- ita, Kansas, in 1949. A year later, four Omaha city leaders convinced the NCAA to move the event to their municipally run facility, Rosen- blatt Stadium. In that time, the Men’s CWS has become part of the fabric of this city – so much so that it built a new stadium for the event. In 2011, the City of Omaha and the NCAA entered a 25-year agree-

  to support the growing needs of the CWS. This was a controversial decision for a lot of people in Omaha who valued the history and   Wrigley Field or Fenway Park. To this day, there are individuals who refuse to step foot into the new stadium. However, Omaha’s passionate sports fans and local loyalty has helped transform the Series into what it is today. Season ticket rights are cherished and passed down through families, as others spend years on a waiting list patiently hoping for a chance to buy their own. Some  up outside the stadium for hours waiting to claim their favorite spot. How do you prepare for all this? Throughout the year we, the Met-

       co-host several planning meetings with all the organizations involved.  University, the City of Omaha, and MECA, all with the common goal of creating a fun and safe environment for the student-athletes and fans. Let us dive into more details about each group’s responsibilities. The NCAA operates as the proprietor of the event, overseeing all baseball operations, ticketing, marketing, community relations, spon- sorship, media, and merchandise. In the months leading up to the Men’s CWS, these groups count on their Omaha partners for local  things to arrive on site. Then, about a week before the Men’s CWS, all  Turner Sports assembles and operates “Fan Fest,” an interactive festi- val and fun-zone for the young and young at heart. At the same time, 


 tirelessly to accommodate them.    

 2011, CWS Inc. handled all operations at Rosenblatt Stadium. Today, they oversee season ticket sales, general admission ticket-book sales, opening ceremonies, local marketing, pre-game talent, and team ho-  ins and outs of this event as well anyone else. They have deep local ties that have been a tremendous asset when booking anthem singers, - ets is so long is because this group renews 98-99% of all season ticket accounts each year. But their best-selling option annually is general admission ticket-books, which are sold in packs of 10. General admis- sion books have proven to be popular with younger generations, and  Creighton University serves as the host institution, providing addi- tional support to schools and players during their visits. They’re also on site to provide the NCAA and participating schools with practice facilities, game statistics, and assist in media coverage. The University’s           their facilities for practice and training purposes. The City of Omaha facilitates all the civil support for the Series.

 amazing job monitoring the event and keeping our fans safe. Last year in conjunction with the State of Nebraska, the city took fan safety one step further by placing jersey barriers around the venue to prevent potential vehicle attacks. Working closely with MECA, these barriers                 security team added wands at each entry point to help better protect          we are tackling projects to improve fan safety and experience. Current- ly, we are reviewing options to expand the backstop netting to the end of each dugout to enhance safety, and converting outdated lighting - aire, is brainstorming ways to top past year’s signature food creations – like this year’s two-foot calzone! Yum! But this is just a glimpse into the history, operations, and magic of

 this massive event (with a 167-page operation manual) down to a con- cise magazine article, but I am positive that I have not done it, nor the  your ticket to Omaha and see it for yourself. The fun begins with open- ing ceremonies, on June 22, 2018. FM

Nate Stahlecker is stadium manager for Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority and TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.


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