2011 College World Series: A New Beginning at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

The main entrance to TD Ameritrade Park, with the Road to Omaha Statue in the foreground

It was only a few short hours after the ticket windows slid open on April 4th that the first game at TD Ameritrade Park was sold out. Long considered the Cooperstown of college baseball, Omaha has ushered in a new era, and it all started with the Creighton Bluejays.

On April 19th 2011, the Bluejays and Nebraska Cornhuskers opened the new park to a sold out crowd of 24,000 on a cold, rainy, and windy night in Omaha. The Cornhuskers took the first game 2-1, but it did not stop the Bluejays from playing well at the new park over the following six weeks. Creighton would amass a 13-4 record, including victories over Nebraska, Kansas, as well as a Missouri Valley Title. The Jays ended up earning a #2 seed in the Corvalis regional, but eventually fell as the Beavers defended their home turf.

This past semester I had the opportunity to work with Creighton as well as the folks over at TD Ameritrade Park in helping to open the new facility. Months of hard work between multiple parties paid off, and TD Ameritrade Park opened successfully. Creighton averaged 7-9,000 fans per game while playing in April and May, and the College World Series was given a great opportunity to work out the kinks of playing in the new park.

Today, the first College World Series game will be played between Vanderbilt and North Carolina.

This year’s CWS features 6 of 8 national seeds (including the top 5), and should provide us with games from some of the Nation’s very best.

Virginia and Vanderbilt have consistently been the two best teams all year, while South Carolina, Florida and North Carolina all have been outstanding as well.

I’m going to make a safe pick, and go with Vanderbilt and Virginia to play for the National Title, and pick Virginia to win it all.

When wandering the concourses of TD Ameritrade Park, it becomes immediately apparent that it is truly a cathedral of college baseball. While the College World Series will take place every season in late June, only the Jays can call the nations best college park its home.

The new revolution in baseball architecture is seen throughout the park, combining a mix of the old and new in creating a facility usually reserved for only the Major Leagues.  With wide concourses, premiere luxury suites, and a wide assortment of concessions, TD Ameritrade Park provides the players, staff, and the fans with the ultimate baseball experience.

While in Omaha I had the opportunity to explore so many parts of the park, as well as work to make it look and function the way it does. While I was out there I took some photographs, as well as adding a few taken in months since, here is a preview of the park:

View from the concourse down the third base line

From behind the first base dugout

History can be funny sometimes...

View from across the street looking towards the main entrance

Scoreboard in Right Field

View from Centerfield

View looking towards downtown

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