After thunderstorms dampened spirits Thursday night and Friday morning, the skies cleared over TD Ameritrade Park Omaha for the start of baseball at the College World Series.
The stormy weather forced the public opening ceremonies to be cancelled. It was a decision NCAA officials said was a tough call, but the right one. “We maybe erred on the side of caution, but we're not going to endanger the student athletes and the fans,” said the NCAA’s Dennis Poppe.
Fans like Troy Garcia of San Antonio were glad to see the skies clear on Friday. “We looked at the forecast on the way up here and we just prayed it wouldn't be as bad as it is, but hey, we're willing to deal with it, we're baseball fans so we'll sit in the rain.”
Garcia came to Omaha with friends for a youth baseball tournament, but the rain changed his plans, so he bought a bunch of reserved tickets to catch the College World Series. “We're gonna watch the games today. Got rained out this morning so we're here ‘til Sunday and we're gonna catch as many games as possible rain or shine.”
Jeff Vaughn came from Kansas City for the CWS, something he's done every year since 1989. “Been here for tornadoes and 100-degree temperatures and cold, rainy temperatures, so I've seen it all over the period of time.”
Even though he's been through all kinds of weather over the years he still made sure he came prepared in case thunder and lightning hit the ballpark. “I don't want to get hit by it, that's what I would worry about and our seats are underneath the overhang, so that's good. If it's raining during the game we're covered."
The Fox family came from Minnesota for a Little League tournament. Mitchell Fox will be watching the college men on the mound. “Pitchers, how they mix up their pitches and how they field and hit." Maybe someday Mitchell will play in the College World Series. “Yeah, that would be nice."
General admission seats filled up fast, leaving many like Michelle Martinsen frustrated because a number of reserved seats were open. So she took action. “To upgrade the tickets to reserved seating so we don't have to stay in line.”
Andrea Kratz of Omaha wasn't surprised the crowds showed up to watch Stony Brook take on UCLA. “Omaha comes no matter what, they come no matter what, but they want to root for an underdog. Omaha loves to cheer on an underdog and the crowd’s behind them."
Scalping tickets above face value is illegal within a half-mile of the stadium. Police haven't picked up anyone for scalping so far. For future games check the Web site cws.flashseats.com where you can safely buy, sell and transfer tickets.