OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Organizers for the College World Series on Wednesday talked about the highlights of this year’s event.
This is the 11th season of the College World Series will be played at Omaha’s downtown stadium but this is the first year games will be played under the stadium’s new name Charles Schwab Field.
“We’ve been through this before, we’ve changed the name rebranded what is now CHI Health Center and this is the first time we’ve done it in the ballpark, it’s going to be about a million and a quarter, actually it’s funded by the company that brought the name, it’s not a cost to the facility so it’s not a cost to the city,” said Roger Dixon, MECA.
But there are still signs of the old sponsors inside the stadium.
“The major outside signs on the stadium are completed but there’s still a lot of the wayfinding within the facility, there’s a lot of the wayfinding outside of the facility.”
So the changing over is still a work in progress but no matter what the stadium is called you won’t be able to spend cash inside if you want some peanuts and cracker jacks. The change over to a cash-free facility started during the peak of the pandemic and its still around.
“You know the fewer touch points that you have when you go through the process the better and cash was one of those points that we could take care of and still get people taken care of, I think we have four of the cash to card machines here it’s a quick process it’s an easy process.”
The machines are located around the stadium and they are easy to use, if you don’t spend all of the money on the card, you can use it anywhere outside of the stadium.
Officials also tell 6 News tickets to the games won’t look like tickets anymore, you’ll use your phone to get into the game.
“We’re in our second year of that and it’s the process, your tickets are emailed to you, you transfer it to your smartphone and when you walk in you pull it up and its scanned and you come in.”
Officials believe the digital ticket will be more secure but it won’t completely stop illegal after sales.
“The only difference between a had ticket and this is we can track this digital ticket we know it’s going to a scalper, but it doesn’t stop it from happening.”
Teams were due to begin arriving Wednesday for back-to-back weekends of baseball. Practices start Thursday morning.
Thursday is Opening Day, and events will be free. This year will feature a screening of “Field of Dreams” ahead of the team parade and opening ceremonies.
Food on the menu of this year’s College World Series is on the table and as always there will be a lot of new items to munch on while you watch the game.
“My favorite I would say right now we’re calling it the chicken in a pickle fried chicken sandwich we basically take your fried chicken sandwich but we basically overwhelm it with three pickle components, fried pickles, bread and butter pickles, aloi, crinkle cuts as well,” said Alex Woockman, executive chef.
There are two new hot dogs on the menu: the jalapeno dog and the oh-dog, that’s a hot dog with grilled steak on top. There’s also a new hamburger in the CWS lineup, you might want to check with your cardiologist before you take a bit of this one.
“We call it a brater up burger we have an Omaha steaks all-beef burger, cheddar cheese, and then what we’ve done is butterfly a brat we lay it flat and grill it put that on top of the burger.”
There’s also something on the menu for those who prefer not to eat meat.
“We do have a vegetarian option this year that we’re excited about the cauliflower and tots we’re calling it colly tot it’s spicy cauliflower that we’re putting on top of tots with a curry aloi that we put on top.”
There is also a chicken waffles and fries entrée for those who love breakfast and check this out, smoke ribs that are fried and then tossed in sweet chili sauce.
It’s a pretty good lineup, with something for everyone at the ballpark. Some of the old favorites are still on the menu, especially the popular nacho Omaha.
As for the games, in addition to digital-only entry, there will again be a clear-bag policy in place as well as metal detectors.
From traffic control to patrolling inside the ballpark, Omaha Police will be wrapped around the field during the College World Series.
Police officials say between 35 to 45 officers will be in the area to make sure nothing goes on except fun and baseball. More security barriers have been installed around the stadium in high-traffic areas.
“The balusters help us keep pedestrians in the area safe, anybody that loses control of a vehicle can possibly come into the crowd and the ballisters are going to stop those vehicles from hitting and injuring pedestrians,” said Capt. Mark Desler, OPD.
Police have set up barricades and shut down some streets to control traffic around the stadium and when fans line up to go inside to watch the game, they will have to deal with new security measures.
Omaha Police will be wrapped around the Charles Schwab Field during the College World Series.
“This is the first year there will be walk-through metal detectors, it is not the type of metal detector that you have to unload everything out of your pockets but if you do set the metal detector off expect to be wanded so it should make it a little smoother a little quicker going in as opposed to some of the older methods.”
With everything that’s going on in this country right now, Omaha police realize that large crowds can attract people with bad intentions.
“We do have a high level of security at the College World Series we do every year but this year especially we’re asking for help from the fans and the general population, if you see something please say something do not hesitate to call 911. ”
There will be a heavy police presence around the stadium to make sure the only things baseball fans have to worry about is the final score.
Members of the Omaha Fire Department will also be in the area to take care of any medical emergencies.
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