TD Ameritrade more than home of CWS, remains busy all year
November 10, 2016
The batter walked up to the plate. The roar of the crowd rattled his teeth. He stared out across the field. This was the grand stage of college baseball. It was game seven of the College World Series, played in the heaven of college baseball, T.D. Ameritrade Park. The pitcher steely eyes bore into his, so the hairs on his neck stood up. Within a second, the baseball was flying at him at 90 miles per hour. With a crack the ball went flying over the bullpen down the right foul line.
“I love the College World Series,” Director of Communications for T.D. Ameritrade Park Kristi Andersen said. “It is a special time when we get to showcase our city to visitors from all over the country. Each team who participates brings a different flavor and uniqueness with them. Omaha is very proud of this event and it shows.”
While the College World Series is the primary event held at T.D. Ameritrade Park, quite a few events are held at the park outside of the College World Series. This is due to MECA ((Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority), a private company that operates both T.D. Ameritrade Park and the CenturyLink Center.
“T.D. Ameritrade is also home to… road races like the Omaha Marathon and the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, and many corporate meetings and private events like wedding receptions throughout the year,” said Andersen.
The Omaha Marathon is an annual race throughout the city. It features a 5K, 10K, and a half-marathon in addition to the full marathon. A pasta dinner is held in the bullpen at T.D. Ameritrade Park prior to the races. Concerts are also held at the park, such as the 2011 Red Sky Music Festival.
”In addition to [the College World Series], T.D. Ameritrade Park is home to the Creighton University baseball team which plays around twenty games there a year,” Andersen said.
The Blue Jays moved to T.D. Ameritrade Park in 2011. This was due, in part, to close proximity to the campus. Their season runs from February to May.
“There is no stadium that compares to it in college baseball,” Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator of the Creighton Bluejays Rich Wallace said. “[It’s] basically a major league stadium without the extra deck around the outside, By far, the best [stadium] as far as the amenities out, feel of it, you name it. It’s the best.”
In addition, the move to T.D. Ameritrade was supported by MECA.
“MECA approached us and we said yes, because it’s the mecca of college baseball,” assistant athletic trainer Curtis Self said.
Creighton plays 26-30 home games, depending on the year. The average attendance of their games are around four thousand people.
“We have more fans than the average baseball team,” Self said.
Besides playing their home games, the Big East Conference Tournament was also played at T.D. Ameritrade in 2015. Eight teams from the conference competed.
“The way they designed [the stadium] is unbelievable,” Self said. “No other stadium compares. It’s an unbelievable setup, for both the visiting and home teams.”
T.D. Ameritrade’s has also been home to the Big Ten Conference Tournament. It was held in 2016, with eight teams competing, including the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Huskers’ coaching staff did not respond when asked for comment.
The stadium was designed not only for the players, but for the fans. With over 24,000 seats, the stadium was still designed for the comfort of fans . Thrity-six inches of leg room are available.
“We welcome close to 500,000 people on average every year to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha,’ Andersen said. “The majority of those guests come to baseball games, however in the off-season we host many private events that also bring people to the stadium.”
T.D. Ameritrade Park stays busy even without the College World Series. It welcomes 150,000 in the off season alone.
“It’s the greatest stadium in college baseball,” Wallace said.