Fans attending the 2013 NCAA® Men’s College World Series® at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha can expect a number of changes inside and outside the stadium, from new starting times for games and enhanced use of instant replay, to changes around the stadium.
The first change centers on game times reverting back to the start times the College World Series was accustomed to the previous few years, beginning at 2 and 7 p.m. Central Time for the majority of the Series. Stadium gates will open approximately two hours before the start of the game scheduled for each day.
Another change involves the use of instant replay for umpires to review specific calls on batted balls that land near the outfield foul lines. This is an expansion on the rule introduced last year that allows umpires to review whether an apparent home run is fair or foul; deciding if a batted ball left the playing field for a home run or a ground-rule double; and spectator-interference plays involving home run balls.
“Reviews will be conducted by the on-field umpires using video review technology located just off the field of play,” explained Dennis Poppe, NCAA vice president of championships and alliances. “The process will operate under the assumption that the ruling on the field is correct. The only way a call can be changed is if there is indisputable video evidence to remove all doubt that a ruling was incorrect.”
This year’s Opening Celebration Day on June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha will, resume a long-standing tradition of musical guests by featuring a free concert by O.A.R. as part of the band’s national Sounds of Summer Tour. The performance will be held outside the stadium prior to the start of Opening Ceremonies. O.A.R. has provided music for ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s College World Series for a number of years with song titles such as Wonderful Day, One Shot and This Town, and has sold nearly 2 million albums and over 2 million concert tickets.
Changes also are occurring around the outside of the stadium where The Road to Omaha® sculpture is being enhanced with new ambient lighting and background panels. “The sculpture was dedicated in 1999 in honor of Omaha’s 50th anniversary as the home of the Men’s College World Series,” noted CWS, Inc., Chairman Jack Diesing, Jr. “The sculpture was moved from its original location at Rosenblatt Stadium and rededicated at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in 2011.”
New parking meters installed on the west side of 12th Street from Cass Street north to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha will be bagged during the Series and unavailable for parking, to assist with pedestrian and emergency vehicle access. All metered stalls on 12th Street south of Cass Street will be available for public parking during the Series.
Other improvements planned prior to the start of the CWS include the installation of a 10-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side of 13th Street between Mike Fahey and Cass Streets and new cross walks at 12th, 13th and Cass Streets.
CWS fans with Club Level tickets will have expanded food and beverage options this year, including the availability of beer and wine, which is consistent with other NCAA championships that take place in a venue with these facilities. The beer and wine will remain in the Club Lounge area, so fans will not be allowed to take alcoholic beverages to their seats.
PrimeSport, which is a NCAA ticket partner, offers fans the opportunity, in advance, to purchase CWS tickets paired with food and beverages served in a private hospitality tent. PrimeSport offered these hospitality packages to fans when the CWS was at Rosenblatt Stadium and it has continued to do so at TD Ameritrade Park.
This year, PrimeSport will operate its private hospitality tent in the Fan Fest area of Lot C, where soft drinks, beer, wine and ballpark food will be served. The tent will be separated from the general Fan Fest area by fencing that meets the City of Omaha requirements. Security will be present to ensure that patrons do not leave this fenced area with beer or wine.