College World Series: Business booms at Omaha eateries before rubber match

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Businesses near TD Ameritrade Park Omaha have been wall-to-wall packed all day long. And the sound of cheering fans is music to bar and restaurant owners’ ears.

Kevin Culjat owns Rocco’s Pizza and Cantina as well as Lefty O’Tooles next door.

“I think my staff wanted to kill me, because I was the only guy happy in the bar that we were playing another game,” he said. “But it’s fantastic. It’s like Christmas coming again today. We’ve had a line since 11 o’clock. We’ll be busy all night, and, if Mississippi State wins it, it’s going to be off the chain.”

Culjat said customer traffic this year was more than he could have dreamed of. He’s already made more money than he ever has during CWS.

“We’ve set a record every single day at both locations. It’s been outstanding,” he said. “It’s been record-setting numbers every single day.”

And there is enough business to go around with thousands of fans in the area each day. Just a block away, Blatt has also been packed full.

“We get about 25% of our sales in about 12 days for this location,” said Devin Jacobson, operations manager of Flagship Restaurant Group. ”Just the amount of people down here is just tremendous. It’s integral for us having a great year, and it’s been a great year for us so far,”

Fans are making such a splash after a year without baseball in Omaha that they are outpacing what they spent the last go-round.

“It’s a thousand times better than 2019,” Culjat said.

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