Since 1950, the College World Series has called Omaha, Nebraska, home. Texas and Washington State were the first institutions to visit the city for the tournament, and as the tourney’s inaugural champion – with five more CWS titles afoot – fans of Longhorn baseball accounted for 28.5 percent of the 2003 College World Series attendance (a higher attendance than Nebraska residents).
Although the staple of NCAA post-season glory belongs to the College Football Playoff and March Madness, the College World Series – in the last 12 years – has relished more attendees per game than March Madness.
On a per-game basis, for both March Madness and the CWS in 2007, 11,063 spectators filled basketball arena seats, whereas 20,047 baseball fans braved the blinding sunshine of Omaha.
Over the 15 games in the 2009 College World Series, a total of over 335,000 crowded Rosenblatt Stadium. Making the College World Series the NCAA’s prized bull is its audience flexibility.
Age groups and household income levels at the 2009 CWS:
$50,000 or more (58%)
$75,000 or more (41%)
$100,000 or more (20%)
Retreating back to Goss Institute’s findings, the College World Series exponentially excites state and local economies. Nearly half of the attendees are non-Nebraska residents and 21.2 percent of season ticketholders lived out-of-state. Furthermore in 2007, Oklahoma residents accounted for 28.5 percent of season ticketholders.
Other than furthering the sport of baseball, the annual tournament helped Omaha flourish in other industries, specifically tourism, retail, accommodation and food and beverage. The CWS even reeled in one of youth baseball’s most popular tournaments, The Slump Buster.
The series – sponsored by Triple Crown Sports – watched 40 states, including Hawaii, flock to Omaha because of the CWS’ popularity.
Comparing industrial growth – 2003 CWS vs. 2007 CWS
Food and Beverage
2007: $8,101,531 (+$54,246)
2007: $4,955,455 (+$468,437)
2007: $9,669,569 (+$2,863,383)
2007: $2,536,369 (-$141,879)
According to Goss’s 2007 report CWS visitors – from 2008 to 2018 – will raise $514.8 million with an additional $25.7 million in state and local tax collections. In terms of the labor force, 537 year-round jobs will be supported, resulting in payroll of $159,4 million.
From 1950-2011, the College World Series appointed Rosenblatt Stadium as its housing unit for fans, coaches, players, retailers and all of the above. As aging served its consequences, the stadium underwent cosmetic surgery – cranking in $7 million for an additional 10,000 seats.
Thanks to an uprising of the tournament – and by staying genuine to the city of Omaha – a new suitor, TD Ameritrade Park, became its new home. Seating 24,000 and costing $137 million to erect, TD Ameritrade Park is also a refuge to the Creighton Bluejays. Hosting its first CWS tournament in 2011, South Carolina defeated Florida in two games.
While most annual tournaments shuffle amongst host cities, Omaha is scheduled as college baseball’s hometown for the championship series until 2035.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports