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By Deb Fischer
U.S. Senator 

The Road to Omaha


Baseball is America’s pastime. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a hot dog in the stands, hearing the sound of a home run, or watching your favorite player beat the tag at home. Every year in June, Nebraskans look forward to the sights, sounds, and thrills of this beloved game when Omaha hosts the College World Series.

The inaugural Men’s College World Series took place in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It wasn’t until 1950 that the tournament took place at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. From 1950-1961, the event didn’t even turn a profit. But luckily a group of four Nebraskans kept the faith and fought for the tournament to stay in Omaha.

Ed Pettis, the late Morris Jacobs, the late Byron Reed and the late Johnny Rosenblatt, who was the Mayor of Omaha, joined together in 1967 to form the College World Series of Omaha, Inc. This has remained the foundation in charge of organizing the event ever since.

Through the dedication and work of this group, partnering with Omaha city officials, business leaders, and volunteers, the College World Series has grown to become the nationally recognized tournament it is today. It contributes substantially to Nebraska’s economy. In 2019, the series had an economic impact of $88.3 million and supported more than 1,100 year-round jobs.

Organizing and executing a national sporting event of this scale is no small undertaking. Ensuring its success takes significant planning, resources, and policies. The city of Omaha and the state of Nebraska should be proud of the excellent work they do to make this event special for the teams competing and for the thousands of fans who fill the stadium.

In addition to watching the best of college baseball, attending a College World Series game at Schwab Field means you can try some great food. Should you want to deviate from the ever-popular hot dog, there’s the CWS favorite “home run burger” with bacon, sweet pickles, barbecue sauce, and crispy onions. Or you might want to try the “Grounds Crew Totcho” – tater tots topped with brisket, jalapeno peppers, cheese, barbecue sauce and sour cream. On the drink menu, there’s also been an expansion in recent years to include beverages from local breweries.

Outside of Schwab Field sits the Road to Omaha bronze sculpture by local artist John Lajba. The sculpture, which was dedicated during a ceremony in 1999 marking Omaha’s 50th anniversary of hosting the College World Series, depicts four ecstatic players celebrating their win at home plate. It’s a reminder of what the tournament is all about: competition, sportsmanship, and excitement. That’s why year after year, we look forward to the unique display of athleticism and Americana.

Watching the College World Series games restores our faith in humanity, gives us hope, and helps us feel more connected to others. And it’s a lot of fun. Omaha is proud to be its home every year.

I wish all of the teams competing in this year’s College World Series the very best of luck!

Thank you for participating in the democratic process.


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