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Omaha Things To Know-maha Before You Go-maha

Drew Franklinby:Drew Franklin06/12/24

DrewFranklinKSR

Now that I have your attention with that headline, let’s talk about Omaha. Omaha, Nebraska. Since 1950, Omaha has been the longtime host of the College World Series, and for the first time, your University of Kentucky Wildcats are among the eight participating universities in 2024. And since Kentucky punched its ticket to Omaha to compete for a national championship, we should get you familiar with the Big O. You may find some of this information helpful with your travels if you’re fortunate enough to go. Even if you cannot take off for Nebraska on short notice, you may learn something about America’s 40th most populous city.

Omaha Places of Interest

Going to Omaha? These are the locations you’ll want to be familiar with.

Jun 24, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; General view of the stadium before the game between the Florida Gators and the LSU Tigers at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

CHARLES SCHWAB FIELD – Formerly TD Ameritrade Park, Charles Schwab Field is the host venue of the College World Series. The 24,205-seat ballpark opened in 2011 as a modernized replacement for the historic Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, the home of the CWS from 1950 to 2010.

OMAHA BASEBALL VILLAGE Located steps away from Charles Schwab Field, Omaha Baseball Village offers food, drink, and fun for CWS fans. Adults can enjoy a cold beer and the games on TV in the Beer Garden. The kids have lots more to do, from throwing tents (tents you throw baseballs in, not literally throwing tents through the air) to batting tees and frozen yogurt to beat the heat.

OLD MARKET – KSR’s Omaha sources recommend a stroll down the cobblestone streets of The Old Market for downtown fun beyond the baseball. The Old Market is an artistic district known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment. Start a C-A-T-S chant if you’re there.

ROCCO’S For the 21-and-over crowd, Rocco’s is the place to be as it is the home to the CWS Jello Shot Challenge. Rocco’s tracks the jello shots purchased by each of the participating fan bases in Omaha, leading to a competitive party atmosphere near the stadium. If you’re going, please do all you can for Kentucky against Tennessee.

Last year, Raising Cane’s CEO Todd Graves helped LSU shatter the Rocco’s record with 68,888.

Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; Current Jello shot count at Rocco’s bar before the game between the Florida Gators and the LSU Tigers at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Fan Fest

Jun 18, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; Fan Fest signage before the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Virginia Cavaliers at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Another place of interest is the MCWS Fan Fest. There, fans will find attractions and activities like batting cages and entertainment from the Velvet Crush or the Riptide Refugees on the Fan Fest’s main stage. Fans can even take a ride on the Fast Fest Ferris wheel for a bird’s-eye view of the ballpark.

You can find it at Lot C and the Northeast corner of Lot B beginning at 11:00 a.m. each day that baseball is played.

Open Practice Times

If you find yourself in Omaha by Thursday, June 13, you may be able to catch Kentucky’s open practice at 2:00 p.m. (CT). Thursday’s practices are open to the public at Charles Schwab Field.

  • 9:10 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. North Carolina
  • 10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Virginia
  • 11:10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Tennessee
  • 12:10 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Florida State
  • 1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Kentucky
  • 2:10 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. N.C. State
  • 3:10 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Texas A&M
  • 4:10 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Florida
Jun 26, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; Baseballs are pictured during warmups before game 3 of the championship series between the Florida Gators and the LSU Tigers at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Tickets

There are still some available for Kentucky’s first game on Saturday. Get in there.

Parking

Parking at Charles Schwab Field is $10 per day with a reservation and $15 per day without one. Reservations can be made here in advance. Other parking options are nearby.

Notable Omahans

While you’re in Omaha, be on the lookout for these recognizable Omaha natives. I do not expect you will find them in the same party, but, you never know.

WARREN BUFFETT – The 10th richest person in the world, Omaha’s Warren Buffett is one of our nation’s most famous billionaires. Take him to Rocco’s and make him buy a round or 500 if you see him.

GERALD FORD – The 38th President of the United States grew up at 3202 Woolworth Avenue in Omaha, Nebraska. Go visit the Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens in Omaha, if you’re into Gerald Ford and you’re bored.

JOJO SIWA – People under a certain age know this Nickelodeon star. I am over that certain age.

NICK NOLTE – The 83-year-old star of “Blue Chips” and many other movies was born in Omaha, where he was the kicker for the football team at Omaha’s Westside High School.

J*** H****** – A former NCAA basketball official, J*** H****** is [redacted].

Omaha Fun Facts To Impress Your Friends While You’re There

Beyond the College World Series, Omaha takes pride in these fun facts that you can use to be the life of the party on the way to Omaha or while you’re there.

The Reuben sandwich originated in Omaha, according to one origin story for the delicious corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut, Thousand Island, and rye. Legend has it that Reuben Kulakofsky, a grocer in Omaha, ordered his sandwich that way at his weekly poker game at the Blackstone Hotel. The hotel eventually named the sandwich after Reuben Kulakofsky, and its popularity grew from there.

— Omaha is home to the world’s largest indoor desert, the Desert Dome. You can find it at the popular Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, towering 13 stories and covering an area of 84,000 square feet.

You can stand in two states at once over the Missouri River. Walk the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and you can be in Nebraska and Iowa at the same time.

Blue, Get In

Whether this Omaha primer was helpful or not, I hope the Big Blue Nation shows up for the Wildcats’ first attempt at the College World Series. It has been a long time coming, and Blue better get in there. It’s what we do.

Go Cats.

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2024-07-21