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College World Series begins Saturday in scaled-down format

TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

The 2021 College World Series begins Saturday at Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park, but because of COVID-19 many of the festivities outside the diamond will be curtailed or eliminated this year.

For starters: there will be no Opening Celebration Day and Opening Ceremonies, autograph sessions, open workouts or fireworks at the 2021 College World Series. There will be no formal Fan Fest, although sponsors will be able to set up activities outside the ballparks. And other events like banquets were also scrapped.

But there should be plenty of excitement in the air. Capacity at TD Ameritrade Park will be at 100 percent, and tailgating will be allowed. Watering holes outside the ballpark in downtown Omaha will be open for business. And organizers say there will still be plenty to entertain attendees in addition to the games on the field. From KPVI:

Anthony Holman, managing director of championships and alliances operations for the NCAA, said the decision to eliminate those events happened months ago. By the time it was announced on May 21 that 100% capacity would be allowed at TD Ameritrade Park, the decision couldn’t be reversed.

“When the timelines for those decisions had to be made, we weren’t where we are today in this country in terms of allowance for 100% capacity or the infection rates that have drastically declined and the mass distribution of vaccinations,” he said….

They are also adding some features in the ballpark to provide some heightened excitement and more engagement, but they will be largely virtual. There will be more video board content and activities that are accessible through the College World Series app.

Even with the scaled-back proceedings, full houses at the College World Series are another sign that we are approaching normalcy. Think about it: we went from limited vaccinations being administered at the beginning of the year to full houses at many MLB and MiLB ballparks and the College World Series by the middle of June.

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