The stage, the star
TD Ameritrade Park provides perfect setting for CWS
OMAHA, Neb. -- The eight best teams in the country take center stage in Omaha for the College World Series. The players and coaches are the ones making news on this stage. However, the stage, TD Ameritrade Park, is a star itself.
• Coordinates are: 41.267°N, 95.932°W
• It seats 24,505, but has the ability to hold 35,000 spectators.
• The first game played there was on April 19, 2011, between Nebraska and Creighton. The Cornhuskers won 2–1.
• The distance from home plate to the first row of seats is 52 feet.
• The surface of the field is Kentucky Bluegrass.
• The largest one-event attendance at TD Ameritrade Park was 27,127, for what was the clinching game of the 2013 CWS, when UCLA completed a two-game sweep of Mississippi State.
• The city of Omaha owns the park and it is operated by Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority (MECA).
• Levy runs all of the concessions at the stadium and employs roughly 575 people, including hourly employees and non-profit groups.
• During each series, roughly 15,000 nachos, 46,000 hot dogs, 17,000 bags of salted peanuts and 45,000 gallons of beverages are served.
• There are 200 employees on event staff, 25 grounds crew members, 20 IT/production staffers and 30 people who work in ticketing.
Ground broke for TD Ameritrade Park in 2009 after the NCAA signed an agreement to keep the CWS in Omaha until at least 2035 if the ballpark was built. The event has been held in the city since 1950, previously at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.
The College World Series is a huge deal for the city of Omaha, and also the largest event held at TD Ameritrade Park.
"We begin planning for the next CWS a year in advance," Kristi Andersen, director of communications for the ballpark, said. "As soon as one series is over, we begin preparing for the next one."
The College World Series spans nearly two full weeks and attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the park -- including nearly 1,000 employees.
"At each CWS there are up to 300 MECA employees present," Andersen said. "These are the ticket takers, the ushers and facility managers."
This number does not include all the food staff present.
Along the concourse level are dozens of food vendors, selling everything from the standard hot dog to a bowl of Asian noodles.
Organizers say the hundreds of event employees are necessary to provide a great experience for fans. The staff agrees that after four years the kinks seem to be worked out. Of course, the biggest stressers are the things the staff cannot predict -- people storming onto the field, wild beach balls and the weather.
Still, they say the success of a great event is worth the stress.
"Seeing all the people from around the country is without a doubt my favorite part of the CWS," Andersen said. "Each year there are different teams and they bring different fans with a different flavor. I love seeing the unique personalities."