The Background of the College World Series
The first edition of the College World Series was organized in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1947. It was moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1949, the same year that George Bush, past president of the United States, led the Yale team in the tournament.
In the 1950 event, Omaha played host for the very first time. At the time, it attracted thousands of attendees. However, in the first decade of the contest, it was not a money-making exercise. This was mainly due to a handful of locals who kept faith in the tournament despite the lack of profit.
People like Ed Pettis and the late Morris Jacobs and Byron Reed were all ardent baseball supporters and were able to form the bedrock of what is now a thriving tournament. That is why the College World Series has been a permanent fixture in Omaha NE since.
Another reason why the series is so important to the city of Omaha is because it emanates a sense of community. When things went awry, local residents, whether they were businessmen, officials or volunteers, came together to keep the College World Series afloat by partnering with the NCAA.
Since 1950, the series has only been held in two stadiums in Omaha Nebraska. The first one was called Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, which was originally known as Omaha Municipal Stadium. It was renamed in 1964 to honor the former Omaha mayor Johnny Rosenblatt, who was pivotal in hosting the series in Omaha and had even brought minor league baseball to the city.
The second venue that has conducted the College World Series in Omaha NE is the aforementioned TD Ameritrade Park. This stadium was completed in 2011 after the NCAA formally agreed to keep the series in Omaha until 2035. The poor state of affairs at the Rosenblatt Stadium is also what prompted this move.
The College World Series has gone from strength to strength since the 60’s. This has only grown since they moved stadiums, which brought increased publicity. For instance, in 2015, the total recorded attendance was more than 350,000 in 17 games.
The attendance has only consistently grown every year since the World Series has called the TD Ameritrade park home.
With more than seventy years of history behind it, the College World Series is synonymous with Omaha Nebraska. And with more than a decade to go still, there is plenty more to come for the city and series.
Not too far from TD Ameritrade Park or Rosenblatt lies the historic, centrally located Dundee. Home to billionaire Warren Buffett.
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