CWS 2023: New business owner seeing some traffic near Charles Schwab Field

It's the first College World Series for one downtown Omaha business, and the owner is already thinking of ways to attract the increase in traffic.
Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 6:51 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Many businesses around Charles Schwab Field have some experience dealing with the thousands of fans making their way to the College World Series.

For some, the Series is a learning experience.

Along the sidewalk a few blocks from the field lies an art shop. Shawn McGuigan is older than his mom’s shop at 17th and Cuming.

“My art is kind of souvenir-type items,” said Julia McGuigan. “I wanted to invite people in and let them know that you can find gifts in here that will remind you of Omaha when you go back home.”

This is Julia’s first CWS -- she has some baseball souvenirs in her shop, but she’s really selling metro-area neighborhoods and communities.

“I wanted to start illustrating these neighborhoods, sometimes surrounding towns around Omaha like Bellevue, Ashland, Papillion,” McGuigan said. “They seem to strike accord with people who live in Omaha, but also people that are moving away from Omaha, but of course I welcome tourists to come in as well.”

Julia is finding some success in her first CWS business effort.

“Last week I had some LSU fans come in and find some items to take back home to Louisiana, so that makes me feel good.”

But Julia isn’t drawing in the crowd she’d like to see -- especially with so many baseball fans passing by her shop.

“Most people seem to be on a mission to get to the game, which is understandable,” McGuigan said. “But with the rain delay the other day we had some people trying to kill time and come in to browse a little bit and stay warm, and it’s been fun to get to know the tourists from out of town.”

Julia says she’ll make a different pitch next year to attract more of the CWS fanbase.

“Whatever I can kind of like get people’s attention from the street point of view, I think possibly illustrating something and putting it on a T-shirt could be something they might want to take home, maybe putting a clothing rack outside, something like that to draw them in,” she said.

Julia hopes to attract CWS fans in the area on Saturday -- they’ve planned a maker’s market featuring local artists and shops and craft-makers near 17th and Cuming at 10 a.m.