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Omaha CWS plans released; Sarpy County officially requests state money for new ballpark

WIth an official groundbreaking, Omaha moves forward with a new College World Series ballpark — and to the south, Sarpy County requests state aid for a new ballpark for the Omaha Royals, setting up a ballpark showdown in America’s heartland.

On Wednesday, the City of Omaha, the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority (MECA) and NCAA leaders unveiled the design of what’s being called Omaha Baseball Stadium for the time being, until naming rights are sold.

“The Omaha Baseball Stadium will enhance Omaha’s reputation as one of America’s great sports communities and will create a dynamic new gateway into our city,” said Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey at the groundbreaking.

The ballpark was designed to fit within its context of the downtown entertainment district. Composed primarily of metal, brick and glass, the building’s base is set apart by a unique combination of brick and translucent glass. The glass creates a playful atmosphere – at night, the glass will glow, creating a street ambience, and during the day, visitors approaching the stadium will be able to see the activity within. A metal canopy atop the ballpark’s seating bowl will provide shade and a modern architectural element to the ballpark’s structure.

“Getting to Omaha is such a thrill for collegiate baseball players and fans, and that drove us to create an image of success,” said Martin DiNitto, principal at Populous, the ballpark’s design architect. “The ballpark’s modern expression, coupled with a ballpark experience bar none, will continue to make Omaha a memorable destination.”

In addition to serving as the home to the NCAA College World Series for the next 25 years, the ballpark will provide numerous sports and entertainment opportunities throughout the year, including professional and collegiate baseball, outdoor concerts and special events.

The architect and engineer of record for the project is HDR Architecture, with Populous as design architect and DLR Group as associate architect.