It has been my privilege to make the past three trips to cover Mississippi State at the College World Series.
If you’re a college baseball fan – or just a baseball fan in general – and haven’t experienced Omaha, I highly recommend it.
This city rolls out the red carpet for these eight teams and their fan bases over these two weeks and embraces amateur baseball at its finest.
I never made it to the old Rosenblatt Stadium. It was a parking lot for the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium by the time I made my first trip to Omaha in 2013. But it’s hard to imagine a better setting for the College World Series than what is currently at TD Ameritrade Park, which opened in 2011.
The area surrounding the ballpark was still mostly old warehouses when I made my first trip but a lot of the area has been revived and is centered around the CWS. Most of those old building have been gutted and remodeled into restaurants and shops.
Just about everywhere you go in Omaha there are vendors selling hats, T-shirts and all sorts of CWS memorabilia. Beyond the right field wall of the stadium is more like a college baseball flea market.
The food that Omaha has to offer is as incredible as it is eclectic. There’s more than just steaks on the menu. I counted up all the days I’ve been in Omaha during the 2013, 2018 and 2019 World Series – including today – and I’ve spent a total of 33 days here and have never went hungry or had a bad meal.
Hotels, however, are outrageously priced. Even the roach motels will run you over $100 a night. The cost of my hotel rooms for this trip – and I’ve switched hotels four times – could pay my mortgage for the next three months.
Even if your team goes 0-2 and barbecue, you’re looking at about a four-night stay and the bill could be quite costly. And if you come and stay for the whole shebang, it’s a full two-week trip, so be sure to bring your wallet ... and make sure you have plenty of vacation days built up at work.
But even with all the expense and the 13-plus hour drive of scenic pastures and cornfields, it’s an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime for baseball fans young and old.