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College World Series: Omaha prepares for baseball, fans, fun

(PHOTO: Lauren Taylor WOWT)
Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Friday night ahead of the College World Series has a bit of a different feel this year. Fans heading into TD Ameritrade for CWS are hardly shy about how it feels to be back.

“The town’s beautiful, the people are great. I love it. It’s all baseball-themed and that’s my favorite sport so I love being here,” Grant Lehnherr, a visiting high school baseball player.

But this year, that excitement will have a ripple effect for a greater Omaha community, specifically, the Heart Ministry Center.

That’s a common theme, post-COVID, but CWS fans will still feel a lot of the same excitement as in previous years.

Normally, opening ceremonies would herald the beginning of the tournament, but that event isn’t happening this year. There are also no closing ceremonies or autograph sessions, and the Road to Omaha run has also been canceled.

But fans couldn’t be happier to be back — even if the CWS is scaled down.

And Baseball Village is back this year, too. 6 News has been following the process of setting up that event outside TD Ameritrade Park that has been the heart of entertainment at CWS.

Fans have been at the stadium all day getting their pictures taken in front of the statue.

The eight teams that are in this year’s College World Series baseball tournament, hoping to be crowned the 2021 champs, have all been here before — including Texas, which has been to the CWS a record 36 times.

That’s not quite as many CWS trips as our 6 Sports team has made — especially not with Dave Webber back in the mix.

Scaling the history back just five years, 6 Sports caught up with an internet favorite from the past five years, talking with the boy whose look at an ESPN camera went viral — chances are good you’ve seen that GIF many, many times.

Vendors are also back, and those selling exclusive 2021 CWS merchandise tell 6 News the competition is tough this year.

It all adds up to a lot of the same atmosphere that College World Series fans from near and far have come to love.

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