Rosenblatt and the College World Series

by Greg in


CodBall has had an interest in the business story behind summer collegiate baseball, and so I couldn't resist writing a post when The Wall Street Journal this week took on the story of Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha and the College World Series. Rosenblatt has hosted the CWS for nearly 60 years, but Nebraskans have taken sides on whether Rosenblatt should be renovated or a new ballpark constructed in order to preserve the College World Series in its rightful home, Omaha.  The future of the CWS is in the balance.

That's where the business story enters.  Here is the story in numbers:

  1. A new stadium will cost $140 million, and Omaha is on the verge of voting on a $100 million city spending plan to make it happen. 
  2. Meanwhile, the venerable Rosenblatt has received a recent $30 million facelift, but the local boosters for CWS in Omaha have proposed another $26 million in rennovations.

Rosenblatt also is home to the Omaha Royals minor league baseball franchise.  The team averages 5,000 fans per game but Rosenblatt has a capacity of 23,145.  The conditions of the stadium are primitive.  RFK and Shea would look like palaces in comparison.

As any team owner or GM knows, successful baseball is all about the terms of the stadium lease and the quality of the baseball experience.  What we see in Omaha is a community grappling with multiple questions.  How do we keep what is rightfully ours -- the CWS?  How do invest wisely in the future of our community? 

Boston has chosen to keep Fenway.  The Cubs have kept Wrigley.  Meanwhile, New York has decided it's time to replace the House that Ruth built with the House that A-Rod Built!

Aside from the socio-economic consideratins, this year's CWS promises to be an interesting one.  Baseball America has just moved North Carolina into the #1 spot after their defeat of Miami.  And some interesting teams remain in the mix:  OK State, Nebraska and LSU.  Where is Oregon State?  I still think Arizona State is an intersting pick to win it all.

COLLEGE TOP 25        [Rk. Team W-L Last Week Prev.] 1.  North Carolina 45-10 3-1 2 2.  Arizona State 44-9 4-0 3 3.  Miami 43-8 2-2 1 4.  Florida State 46-9 3-1 4 5.  Rice 42-11 3-0 6 6.  Cal State Fullerton 35-17 3-0 8 7.  Oklahoma State 40-15 3-1 10 8.  Georgia 35-19 2-2 7 9.  Missouri 37-17 3-0 15 10.  Louisiana State 39-16 4-0 16 11.  San Diego 39-15 0-0 11 12.  Nebraska 39-12 1-3 5 13.  Texas A&M 42-14 0-4 9 14.  UC Irvine 36-15 3-2 12 15.  California 32-17 0-1 13 16.  Stanford 31-19 2-1 14 17.  Michigan 42-12 4-1 17 18.  St. John's 41-12 2-1 18 19.  Kentucky 41-15 3-1 21 20.  North Carolina State 37-18 2-2 20 21.  Texas Christian 40-16 5-0 24 22.  Coastal Carolina 43-11 2-0 23 23.  Wichita State 41-15 3-1 22 24.  Texas 34-19 5-0 NR 25.  Long Beach State 34-18 4-0 NR              [Dropped Out: Vanderbilt (19), Tulane (25)]