The College World Series is a phenomenal experience – even if you don’t have a team in it. But, if you do have a team, the whole experience takes on a new level of awesomeness. It’s also very kid friendly. It’s one big-time sporting event that you can go to where your child will not get beer spilled on him/her. Very family friendly. Pretty affordable. And very fun.
While it is fresh on the mind, I thought that I would take a minute to document some tips about Omaha and the CWS for the Vanderbilt fan base and those who might want to go in the future. This is information gathered from friend recommendations and my experience there. Let’s face it. We Vanderbilt fans are going back! I know we will. So, I hope that some of this information can be of use to you in the future. Omaha is a great town. It’s a great place to go for a few days to unwind and enjoy some baseball.
So, here are the answers to some questions that you might have – ranging from how to get tickets,
Tickets – where to get them
You can certainly buy through the school. But, that puts you in the back of the section at the 100 level. They aren’t bad seats. And, you get to listen to that charming Vandy whistler. But, if you want better seats, I would go to FlashSeats.com. I had never heard of that site. But, they have a pretty cool relationship with the College World Series. It’s not like StubHub where you might have to wait on something in the mail, meet up with some guy in a dark alley or deal with Will Call.
FlashSeats is literally a market place where you can buy the tickets from other fans. And, then, you simply have to go to the game and go through the normal process. Then, as you go up to the gate, you just have to hand the credit card that you purchased the tickets with to the guy accepting tickets. He runs your card and let’s you in. Totally easy process. I bought my tickets for the last 2 nights like this. Paperless and simple.
Where to stay
Sure, you can go further out. But, I would stay where it is walkable. There is so much to do around the stadium. And, you don’t have to pay for parking! Here is a map I put together of some of the hotels around the stadium that I would recommend.
I included a few hotels in the map that are walkable from TD Ameritrade:
- Hilton (1001 Cass Street, Omaha, NE 68102): This was actually the Virginia hotel. It is the closest nice hotel to the stadium. Really convenient.
- Doubletree (1616 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68102): I spent the first few nights there because the Hilton was booked up. Really nice little hotel. It’s a little further from the stadium than the Hilton. But, it’s not too far.
- Hampton Inn (1212 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68102): Didn’t stay here. But, it’s right by the stadium. The reviews looked ok.
- Embassy Suites (555 South 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68102): This is actually where the Vandy team stayed. It’s a little further than the other hotels – but still walkable.
What to do
- Fan Fest: There is a ton of shopping for team/CWS apparel right in front of the stadium. They also have live music, games for kids and different vendors in this area. I believe it opens at 5 p.m.. Games are at 7 p.m.. You will want to kill some time/get some souvenirs here.
- Coco Key Resort (3321 S. 72nd St., Omaha): A friend made this recommendation and it is a good one. It’s about a 8-10 minute drive from the ballpark. If you have kids, this is a great place to pass the time. It’s a slightly smaller version of Great Wolf Lodge. They have 3 great huge water slides and 2 smaller ones. There is a lazy river. There are very few people there during the day, during the week. And, if you are there for CWS, this works out perfect.
- Omaha Zoo: So sorry we couldn’t get to this one. Supposedly, the Omaha Zoo is the #2 zoo in the country. On the next trip, I definitely want to take this in.
- Safari Park: It’s about a 30 minute drive west toward Lincoln. This park is a jurassic park type drive thru plains animals, buffalos, elk, deer, wolves, eagles, birdts, etc.. You can get out, walk around and see animals. Great for kids.
Where to eat/drink
- Zesto Ice Cream: Great little walk-up ice cream place right across the street from the stadium.
- Blatt: Pub food and bar right by the stadium.
- Goodnights Pizza: Awesome pizza restaurant, right across from the stadium.
- Mattress Factory (http://www.themattomaha.com/). Bar, live music & outdoor events.
Also, there are some great vendors at the baseball village.
And, of course, here is the video from “my play” in the College World Series 🙂