Not a great travel guide.
To start this off, I just want to point out that the trip from Starkville, Mississippi to Omaha is a bitch, and I don’t think I will ever make it again unless I am being paid to go or flown there. That being said, Omaha is a trip that any college sports fan needs to make once in their life. TD Ameritrade park is, quite frankly, the Mecca of college baseball. Omaha is the perfect melting pot of baseball, diehard fans, and of course, bars.
I was only there two full days, (thanks Oregon State, congrats on the ‘ship though), and I had a blast, so I’m here to run down the top moments of my trip to give any future attendees a few pointers on what they need to check out.
1. The Games (Duh)
Obviously, this should go without saying, but I did witness some fans there who completely bailed on going to the games in favor of just getting wasted at the bars. Don’t. Be. That. Fan. At the risk of sounding holier-than though, your school’s athletes worked hard to get to even get close to this position, the least you can do is go cheer them on in person. For crying out loud, the stadium sells beer for six dollars apiece, which is honestly a better deal than half the bars. The stadium itself is amazing, and there is not a bad seat in the place, with the outfield seating being big enough to accommodate a majority of the people who want to sit out there.
TD Ameritrade is one of the more impressive “college” fields I have been to, and it is easy to see why they hold the College World Series there every year.
2. Stadium Beers(!!!)
Look, I know some of us are #blessed to have the presence of stadium beers during games, but many of us, especially in the SEC, do not have that privilege, so the ability to go into a college sporting event and buy beer is huge to us. Sure, they were a bit expensive, but nothing beats drinking a beer while watching your team compete on the grandest stage of them all. If you and you and your friends can handle your alcohol, this makes the game ten times more enjoyable.
(Note: they keep selling beers until the seventh inning, hence why so many fights were posted during the championship series).
3. Blatt Beer and Table
Because of all the bars/restaurants we visited, we compiled a pretty robust list of favorites. Blatt’s was “lucky” enough to be my friends and I’s absolute favorite. The food was absolutely fantastic, and the rooftop bar is a great pregame and postgame spot. It is located in downtown Omaha, and is a great central location to everything going on during the day. The best selling point however, has to be the fact that the bar overlooks the ballpark, providing an amazing backdrop to both your victory and defeat drinking. Nothing is better than having a spot to chill and relax between games and just enjoy the city around you.
(Get the wings, they may actually change your life. I have been disappointed by every wing I have eaten since).
4. The Experience
Sure, the drive to Omaha was hell, and I can think of nearly 100 more ways I would rather suffer than do it again and I would take them. But, There is something special about taking a trip like that with some of your best friends, and it is something I will always be able to say I did. I wouldn’t change anything about that trip, and if anyone else is ever considering taking the trip, you absolutely should. If your team is not in it, still go, as the whole tournament is a spectacle. That being said, if your team is playing in the CWS, you cannot miss it. There is something special about watching your team in an event they may never participate in again. Even if you are only there two days, those memories are something that you’ll have forever.
If you had told me the first major college championship venue I attended would’ve been the CWS I would have laughed. But after experiencing it, I cannot recommend it enough. There is something about college sports and a summer atmosphere that just go hand in hand together. Though, I’m sure the beer helped a little bit too.