The Omaha Storm Chasers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) and the College World Series are both doing fine, bucking the conventional wisdom that competition would hurt the pro team.
When the then-Omaha Royals and College World Series shared Rosenblatt Stadium, the pro team went on an extended 16-game road trip to allow the collegians use of the ballpark. No one liked that situation: Royals management needed to vacate their offices, and players were subject to a pretty grueling schedule. That situation ended when both the CWS and the Storm Chasers snared their own facilities.
The conventional thinking was that the Storm Chasers would suffer at the gate with the College World Series in town. Far from it; the Storm Chasers scheduled an eight-game homestand while the College World Series was in town, and so far the attendance figures have shown little impact from any Storm Chasers fans abandoning their team. In fact, the opposite is true: Storm Chasers attendance has actually picked up. From the Omaha World-Herald:
This is the fourth summer in Werner Park for the Chasers, and their fourth year of home games during the CWS. It’s worked out well.
The Chasers had four home games apiece during the CWS in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and two so far this year. In those 14 games, they drew a total of 92,608. That’s an average of 6,614 during the CWS.
That’s 92,608 very big reasons they wanted their own ballpark.
We are guessing many hardcore baseball fans making the trip to the College World Series found the time to head out to Sarpy County and Werner Park to see a Storm Chasers game. (They are smart: great ballpark, great management, great show.) Add to that the usual post-school bump experienced by almost every Minor League Baseball team, and you have a situation where Omaha is a great place to be a baseball fan in June.
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