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TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

Omaha, NE

Home of the College World Series

4.4

4.6

TD Ameritrade Park Omaha (map it)
1200 Mike Fahey St
Omaha, NE 68102


College World Series website

TD Ameritrade Park Omaha website

Year Opened: 2011

Capacity: 24,000

There are no tickets available at this time.

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College World Series in Omaha

The College World Series began in 1947 and after two years in Kalamazoo and another in Wichita, the tournament made a move to Omaha, Nebraska, where it has remained to this day. From 1950-2010, the CWS was played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, which also hosted the AAA Omaha Royals. By the early 2000s, though, it was clear that a new venue would be necessary to handle the increasing exposure the tournament was receiving.

The result was TD Ameritrade Park, which was opened in 2011 to be the exclusive home of the College World Series, as well as Creighton Bluejays baseball. Lately the Big Ten baseball tournament is held here and a couple of minor league football clubs have used the stadium as well. TD Ameritrade Park is the largest non-MLB park in the country, with 24,000 seats, though more fans can be allowed in to take up standing room spots that lie around the entire concourse.

Meanwhile, the Omaha Royals renamed themselves the Storm Chasers and moved into Werner Park about 20 miles southwest of the city, giving CWS attendees another baseball option as the team sometimes schedules games to coincide with the tournament.

The College World Series typically takes place over 11-12 days at the end of June. Stadium Journey visited for two midweek games in the 2016 tournament so keep in the mind that things might change from year to year.

4.4

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

There are eight concession areas spaced around the main concourse that provide a wide variety of food that should appeal to all fans. Generally, the concession stands covered by the upper deck are fixed, while those areas on the outfield concourse contain several temporary stands. Some have baseball related names ("Big Hits," "Club House Grill") while others describe their offerings ("Hot Diggity Dawgs.") Prices are slightly more expensive than what you might find at a normal college ballpark, but that is to be expected at this event.

Some examples of what you can look forward to include Famous Dave's BBQ, which has a stand with pulled pork sandwiches, rib tips, and hot links, while Rollin' Hot Sammies has Philly Cheesesteaks. Of course, the typical ballpark fare such as hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are also available throughout the stadium. This is by no means a complete list; there are many other offerings around the park.

Those with a sweet tooth will not be disappointed as cotton candy, funnel cakes, Sno Kones, and bagged candy are all on sale here. Roving vendors also make their way through the seating bowl with some of these sweeter items.

The 2016 tournament was the first to have alcohol available to those in the general seating area (it has been available in the premium areas since 2013), though this is only a one-year pilot program. If you wish to imbibe, simply get a wristband at one of the ID stations and you are good to go. Draft beer selections are limited though, with no specialty offerings on the main concourse while wine is also available. I found that few patrons were taking advantage of the rarity of booze at a college event though, perhaps out of custom or because there were more families in attendance. For those avoiding alcohol, other beverages including Pepsi products, while smoothies are quite a popular way to beat the Omaha heat, which can be oppressive during afternoon games.

There is also a club area on the second level that includes some lounges, but you do need a club ticket to enter here.

I would advise that if you are going to eat at the park, take a walk around the concourse to see what is available before deciding; the variety here is worth checking out.

Atmosphere    4

The park is dedicated to college baseball, so it lacks many of the amenities that you would find in minor league stadiums. There are no fun zones, silly sound effects, on-field antics, or giveaways, though mascots do roam the concourse. History is remembered with a series of posters high above the main concourse that highlight past CWS winners along with players who went on to fame and fortune in the majors.

There are three seating levels at TD Ameritrade Park. The 100 level stretches from foul pole to foul pole, while the 200 level is mostly suites and the club area. There are three 300 level sections on each side of the suites and these are actually pretty good places to sit, particularly in the evening when the lack of shade is not a problem and you can stretch out and get a bird's eye view of the action.

In fact, much of the park is unshaded, so if you are attending an afternoon game, try to sit in row 23 or above behind the plate or along third base. There are many standing areas along the main concourse that provide shelter should you forget your sunscreen or you just get too hot. Also note that there is no protective netting above the dugout seats, a rarity in college ball where aluminum bats can send baseballs into the seats far faster than fans can react. These seats are farther away than in other college venues, but you still need to pay attention if you are sitting here.

The outfield seats are general admission and can fill up for the high profile games, but were quite empty when I attended.

Eight teams make the tournament and their logos are visible everywhere both outside and inside the stadium, you will never forget which schools are in Omaha. The shops carry plenty of CWS merchandise, but you can also find team colors, while discounts on products representing schools that have already been sent home can be seen at the elimination racks.

I expect that in the first couple of days of the tournament when all eight teams are still alive, it can be quite exciting, but by the time the second weekend rolls around and four schools have been eliminated, the overall atmosphere during the games is relatively muted before the final series begins. If you are not a fan of any of the participating schools and just want to check out the scene, this is perhaps the best time to go as many fans have left and things are a bit more accessible and affordable by then.

Neighborhood    5

TD Ameritrade Park is on the northeast of downtown Omaha right next to the CenturyLink Center. Outside of CWS time, there isn't a lot of foot traffic in the area and thus not much in terms of permanent eateries in the immediate vicinity of these venues.

Goodnights Pizza is right across 13th Street from the stadium, but they don't serve draft beer during the CWS because apparently fans can't be trusted with glass objects. A more popular nearby spot is Blatt Beer and Table, whose rooftop bar can be quite happening after an evening game.

There are significantly more options south of I-480, with the craft beer and premium burgers at Omaha Tap House at 14th and Farnam one of the better choices. Sports bars nearby include the Old Mattress Factory Bar and DJ's Dugout, though it seems like the area is undergoing a lot of change as some other bars have recently closed, so the entire scene could be quite different in 2017. Regardless, you should find a few places to your liking during your time in Omaha.

Fans    3

The College World Series caters more to alumni and their families rather than current students, many of whom are already on vacation by the time the tournament gets started. As well, many locals check out a game or two, so the crowd can be quite varied. Much of your interaction with other fans depends on the game you see; I attended two elimination games between teams that were not national seeds and hence not expected to last this long in the tournament. As such, the stadium was just over half full, with plenty of empty seats in the cheaper areas. Although team colors were in abundance, there were a lot of neutral fans who didn't have any emotional attachment to the game and hence didn't pay much attention. Several fans who hadn't quite learned baseball etiquette were sitting in my section and were constantly getting up in the middle of the action, despite the presence of inning breaks every few minutes. Fortunately fans are prevented from re-entering the seating bowl while a player is batting, so the interruptions were minimized but it is still annoying and a reason that this category receives the lowest score for this venue.

Access    5

The stadium is easily reached by taking I-480 into downtown Omaha, where you can find dedicated CWS parking lots nearby that charge $10 for the whole day. A better option for the budget are the ten-hour parking meters, which are 25 cents an hour and are not that far from the stadium, though you might have to drive around a bit to find them (I believe some can be found at 13th and Douglas). They expire at 9 pm, so you can park from 11 am for $2.50 without worry. You can even pay for street parking through a smartphone app, thus eliminating the need to carry a bunch of quarters around.

There are four gates into the venue, with Gate 2 at 13th and Fahey the most widely used. Once inside, the concourse is wide enough to allow fans to move around in both directions. Stairways to the upper deck are also quite large and more than enough for the crowd. While I never saw any lineups at concession stands or washrooms, this may be because I attended two of the less popular games near the end of the week.

Return on Investment    4

Tickets are generally priced the same for each game in the CWS, between $32-$39 each, with the upper deck seats on the cheaper side. There are also general admission vouchers that can be used for any game, though you will be in the outfield bleachers. These are $85 for 10 tickets, a bargain if you are staying for several games. I found that you could move around the stadium with ease and sitting in the 300 level for an inning or two was never a problem.

I did notice that even weeks before teams were known, the official ticket site was nearly sold out of good seats. Fortunately the secondary ticket market is very strong here. Prime Sports is the official reseller, which means that you will be issued flash seats by presenting your credit card at the game. If you want an actual stub, you'll need to use StubHub, who have a temporary pickup spot a few blocks from the stadium. And of course, many fans with extras can be found around the stadium, as can several scalpers.

If you buy the most expensive seats, pay for parking and have a meal, a game will cost just over $100 for two, but if you shop around and park on the street, you can cut expenses significantly.

Extras    5

Before entering the park, check out the free Fan Fest, which includes live music, interactive games, and autograph signings.

Other external spots worth visiting are the Omaha Baseball Village just south of the stadium. Although this is not officially affiliated with the NCAA, it does include a beer garden, sports stores selling all sorts of baseball equipment, and a training zone.

If you haven't been following the results, you can check the "bat bracket" near the main entrance that is updated after every game. Another way to tell which teams are still alive is to look at the flagpoles on which each team's pennant flies; once eliminated, that school's flag is lowered.

The history posters above the main concourse are worth a point here as they include some interesting photographs, including one of President George H.W. Bush, who captained Yale in the first two College World Series back in 1947-48. Also interesting is seeing Dave Winfield, who was a starting pitcher for Minnesota when they lost the semi-final in 1973. There is also a small tribute to Rosenblatt Stadium at the same level.

CenturyLink Center sometimes has events during the CWS; in 2016 the US Olympic Swim Trials were held here during the same week as the championship games, giving fans something to do during the day. Check their event calendar to see if something else might be on.

Final Thoughts

Overall, TD Ameritrade Park is a very impressive venue that should be visited by any college baseball fan during the College World Series. It is true that it can be an expensive venture with hotels in the area overcharging during the first week at least, but if you stay a few miles away from downtown, you can find good deals and neither traffic nor parking seems to be a problem in Omaha. Fan interest has started to wane slightly, a result of holding the CWS in the same stadium every year while several schools repeatedly make the final eight. If you are a neutral observer, this is a benefit with tickets easily available at reduced prices, particularly in the latter stages of the tournament when some teams have already been eliminated. Keep all that in mind should you decide to pay a visit to the College World Series in 2017 or beyond.

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Crowd Reviews

Home of the College World Series and Creighton Baseball

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

Located in beautiful downtown Omaha, adjacent to hotels, restaurants and coffee houses, TD Ameritrade Park provides a professional baseball atmosphere for college baseball, except minus the drunken fools you find stumbling around most MLB ballparks. The park replaces beloved Rosenblatt Stadium as the home of the College World Series, and is also the home of Creighton Blue Jays baseball.

Great

Total Score: 5.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

feels like an MLB park

The College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

TD Ameritrade Park opened in 2011 and plays host to the College World Series every June. The park is also host to Creighton Bluejays baseball and the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.

TD Ameritrade Park replaced Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. Rosenblatt Stadium had been host to the College World Series from 1950 until hosting its’ final CWS in 2010. Located near downtown Omaha, the stadium just set a new attendance record of 27,127 for the Mississippi St. vs. UCLA game on June 25, 2013. The stadium’s dimensions (335’ down the lines, 375’ to the alleys, and 408’ to center) make it a tough place to hit the ball out of the park.

TD Ameritrade Park: Home of the Creighton Blue Jays

Total Score: 3.86

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

TD Ameritrade Park opened its doors in 2011. The stadium plays host to the College World Series in addition to being the home of the Creighton Blue Jays. The Blue Jays began their first season as a Big East Conference team in 2014. TD Ameritrade Park replaced the original host of the College World Series, Rosenblatt Stadium. Creighton split games between Rosenblatt and the Creighton Sports Complex before making TD Ameritrade Park its permanent home.

The College World Series

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

TD Ameritrade Park opened in 2011 and plays host to the College World Series every June. The park is also host to Creighton Bluejays baseball and the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.

TD Ameritrade Park replaced Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. Rosenblatt Stadium had been host to the College World Series from 1950 until hosting its final CWS in 2010. Located near downtown Omaha, the stadium just set a college baseball attendance record of 27,127 for the Mississippi St. vs. UCLA game on June 25, 2013. The stadium’s dimensions (335’ down the lines, 375’ to the alleys, and 408’ to center) make it a tough place to hit the ball out of the park.

Baseball Heaven

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Going to the College World Series was like Baseball Heaven for me! The atmosphere was awesome and Omaha does an amazing job running this event!

There isn't really anything unique to the ballpark, but I did love the wide concourses and how there were food vendors all over the place.

The outfield bleacher traditions were really cool with the chants and the beach balls.

I have always heard the tailgating is really awesome. I didn't get to experience it too much because I was there on a Monday and there was rain in the forecast. I have a feeling though when I come back next year for the first four games this will be a bit different.

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Local Food & Drink

Blatt Beer & Table  (map it!)

610 N 12th St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 718-8822

http://www.blattbeer.com/

Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill  (map it!)

501 N 13th St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 346-9116

http://www.themattomaha.com/

Rick's Café Boatyard  (map it!)

345 Riverfront Dr

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 345-4545

http://www.rickscafeboatyard.com/

Havana Garage  (map it!)

1008 Howard St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 614-3800

http://thehavanagarage.com/

Goodnights Pizza  (map it!)

1302 Mike Fahey St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 502-2151

http://goodnightsomaha.com/

Omaha Tap House  (map it!)

1403 Farnam St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 932-5131

http://omahataphouse.com/

DJ's Dugout  (map it!)

1003 Capitol Ave

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 763-9974

http://www.djsdugout.com/

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Hilton Omaha Hotel  (map it!)

1001 Cass St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 998-3400

http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/OMACVHH-Hilton-Omaha-Nebraska/index.do

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