The lights have been turned out on Omaha's Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, home to the CWS since 1950, and the tourney will now shift a couple miles north to T.D. Ameritrade Park when the summer of 2011 rolls around.
But let's look into more about what this means.
There are a number of positives about this, including the following:
1. It will give the athletes a more "big league" atmosphere—This is a major plus of the new stadium, which sits right in downtown Omaha off 10th street and near the Quest Center. Student athletes will get the feel of playing in an even better Triple-A park than the existing Rosenblatt Stadium, which will up the ante for college baseball on the national radar.
2. Fans will be able to walk from the Old Market area to the stadium—On top of it being more of a "big league," downtown atmosphere for the players, it's the same for fans. It's less than a mile away, so fans can get a hotel, eat and navigate around the area, before heading to the ballpark for their game.
3. The stadium will be bigger and better on the concourse—The walkways at Rosenblatt have been a cause for concern with the limited space. But that won't be an issue at the new cathedral of college baseball, where there stands to be plenty of room all around the concourse area.
4. The press box and suites stand to be top-of-the-line—Who doesn't like the idea of 26 new luxury suites in a brand new ballpark? And the media loves the idea of finally having reliable internet. These two things are a great advantage over the ‘Blatt, not that the suites weren't nice at the historic venue, but they just weren't brand new.
But there are also many negatives, including the following:
1. Leaving six decades of history—Rosenblatt Stadium has served as the pinnacle of college baseball, as previously stated, since 1950. From diving catches to walk-off hits to organist Lambert Bartak, many of these moments will be left in the dust of Rosenblatt when Henry Doorly Zoo expands. For anyone and everyone that's ever participated or been a spectator, leaving behind history like this is a travesty.
2. Less seating—It's hard to believe that the CWS will be moved from a stadium that seats 25,500 to one that holds only 24,000, but that's the case. Granted, there will be more space in between seats, but there will be less of it.
3. Leaving the "family" atmosphere—Something that's so unique about Rosenblatt is the fact that it sits right near a neighborhood of people that cookout and really soak in the events. The new stadium will be right in the downtown area as opposed to this family environment.
4. Vacating the local shops around the ballpark—Another thing that made this week and a half in June so special were the local memorabilia shops and food places such as Zestos and King Kong. No longer will many of these be a part of the festivities.
So there you have it.
There's good and bad with the new stadium when the first pitch is thrown.