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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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College World Series Takes Over Omaha With Top MLB Prospects

  • Men's NCAA baseball championship begins Friday in Nebraska.
  • About 300,000 fans are expected to visit Omaha throughout the tournament.
Syndication: HawkCentral

The College World Series begins Friday afternoon as eight teams vie to win the men’s NCAA D-I baseball championship over the next 11 days in Omaha, Nebraska.

Unlike the College Football Playoff or March Madness, schools and conferences are not compensated for postseason baseball play — but that doesn’t mean the event isn’t big business for Omaha and media partner ESPN.

In 2019, the baseball tournament had an economic impact of $88.3 million, according to CWS of Omaha, Inc. This year, around 300,000 fans are expected to flock to the town to take in the action. That’s notable for a city whose population was about 485,000 in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Across the street from the 24,000-capacity Charles Schwab Field where the CWS will unfold, the Omaha Baseball Village features nightlife until 2 a.m. CT with food and activities like baseball simulators.

The CWS’ media rights fall under ESPN’s 14-year, $500 million deal for an array of NCAA championships that ends in 2024.

Last year, the CWS averaged 1.1 million viewers, which was on par with the last tournament before COVID in 2019.

Meanwhile, On the Diamond

The SEC leads all conferences with three teams — Florida, LSU, Tennessee — followed by the ACC’s two entrants, top-seeded Wake Forest and Virginia. The brackets are filled out by Oral Roberts, TCU, and Stanford.

Top Major League Baseball prospects to watch in Omaha include LSU outfielder Dylan Crews, Florida outfield Wyatt Langford and Virginia catcher Kyle Teel. LSU’s Paul Skenes is the top pitcher in this class.

The MLB Draft will begin on July 9 at Lumen Field, kicking off All-Star week festivities in Seattle.

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