TD Ameritrade Park Omaha
|Location||1200 Mike Fahey Street|
|Owner||City of Omaha|
|Operator||Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority|
|Capacity||24,505 (expandable to 35,000)|
|Record attendance||28,846 (June 18, 2015)|
(LSU vs. TCU)
|Field size||Left Line – 335 ft (102 m)|
Left Center – 375 ft (114 m)
Center Field – 408 ft (124 m)
Right Center – 375 ft (114 m)
Right Line – 335 ft (102 m)
|Scoreboard||34x54=$5.29 million (281 trillion colors)|
|Broke ground||January 21, 2009|
|Opened||April 18, 2011 (Open House)|
|Construction cost||US$131 million|
($149 million in 2019 dollars)
|General contractor||Kiewit Corporation|
|Creighton Bluejays (NCAA) (2011−present)|
Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) (2011−2012)
Omaha Mammoths (FXFL) (2014)
TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. The ballpark was expected to cost $128 million to construct and is located near the CHI Health Center Omaha. The park turned a profit of $5.6 million in its first year of operation, easily covering its debt payments.
It is the home field of the Creighton University Bluejays baseball team, and the host venue of the College World Series—the final rounds of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The College World Series has been held in Omaha since 1950, and will continue to be hosted there through at least 2035. The Big Ten Conference has also held its baseball tournament at TD Ameritrade Park, first in 2014 and 2016, and from 2018 through 2022. Attempts were made to bring a professional baseball team to TD Ameritrade Park, but legal troubles prevented this. The local Pacific Coast League franchise, the Omaha Storm Chasers (formerly Royals), opted for a smaller capacity venue at the new Werner Park, west of Papillion.
Groundbreaking for TD Ameritrade Park occurred January 21, 2009. It was announced on June 8, 2009 that TD Ameritrade, a company based in Omaha, will carry the naming rights for the new stadium. The official announcement came from TD Ameritrade's Chief Executive Officer Fred Tomczyk on June 10, 2009.
On April 15, 2010, it was announced that the Omaha Nighthawks, the local franchise in the United Football League, would play their first season in Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium and then move to TD Ameritrade for 2011 and beyond. The football gridiron was laid along a line extending from home plate down the first base line into right field. The United Football League suspended all play midway though its 2012 season and then dissolved afterwards, marking the end of professional football at TD Ameritrade Park.
In December 2010, it was announced that Omaha would host a six-day multi-genre music festival in July called Red Sky Music Festival. Concerts were to be held all day in the parking lots of CenturyLink Center and TD Ameritrade Park. Each night there was to be a main concert held inside TD Ameritrade Park and CenturyLink Center. The festival lasted just two years, 2011 and 2012.
The original Hammond organ from Rosenblatt Stadium has been restored and is used during games at TD Ameritrade, although musician Lambert Bartak (retired after the 2010 CWS, died in 2013) would not be the organist.
On February 9, 2013, the ballpark hosted outdoor ice hockey at the "Mutual of Omaha Battles on Ice." The first game featured the junior Omaha Lancers and the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. The second game was a collegiate matchup between the Nebraska–Omaha Mavericks and the University of North Dakota of the WCHA.
In May 2014, it was announced that a franchise in the new Fall Experimental Football League, called the Omaha Mammoths, would play their home games at TD Ameritrade Park beginning in October. The Mammoths would only play one shortened season in Omaha.
On June 21, 2018, Major League Baseball announced that a regular season game between the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers would be played at TD Ameritrade Park on June 13, 2019, ahead of the 2019 College World Series. The Royals won the game 7–3 with 25,454 people in attendance.
The first regular season college baseball game was played on April 19, 2011, between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and host Creighton Bluejays. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by TD Ameritrade CEO Fred Tomczyk. It was a game of many firsts for the park including first balk and first hamster races. The Cornhuskers won 2–1 in front of a paid attendance of just over 22,000 (a sellout) and a scanned attendance of just over 18,000, making it the most attended game of the collegiate regular season.
First College World SeriesEdit
TD Ameritrade Park hosted its first College World Series in June 2011. Participants were South Carolina Gamecocks, Florida Gators, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, North Carolina Tar Heels, California Golden Bears, Texas A&M Aggies, and Texas Longhorns.
Before the opening game of the CWS between Vanderbilt and North Carolina on Saturday, June 18, the ceremonial first pitch was delivered by former President George W. Bush. Omaha Little Leaguer Henry Slagle had the honor of handing the ball to President Bush as his Memorial Park Little League team greeted the former President on the field. Before the pitch, his father, former President George H. W. Bush, who played for Yale in the first CWS in 1947, delivered a video message christening the new facility. Omaha's own Geno Klobner sang the stadium's first CWS national anthem prior to the game. Attendance for the first game was set at 22,745, standing room only, fans. The first CWS pitch at the new park was thrown by UNC's Patrick Johnson to Vanderbilt's Tony Kemp at exactly 1:11 PM Central Daylight Time. Vanderbilt's Connor Harrell hit the first CWS home run in the park in the sixth inning of the game, a two-run blast over the left field wall, as the Commodores went on to beat North Carolina 7-3.
The first CWS finals in the new ballpark began on Monday, June 27, at 7 PM between the South Carolina Gamecocks and their SEC Eastern Division Rivals, the Florida Gators, in front of 25,851 fans.
Other worthy notes about the park's first CWS were the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division South Carolina, Florida and Vanderbilt completing a podium clean sweep, and the 2011 CWS All-Tournament Team being comprised completely of players from the SEC East.
This was also the first year in which the new BBCOR Composite baseball bat (Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution) standard was ushered-in. Meant to reduce the speed of the ball off the bat while lessening the potential for injury to players, particularly pitchers. The new bat also proved to negate the long ball which has caused critics to claim that the new park is too large for the toned-down bats and makes the exciting home run ball a thing of the past in the CWS. Also, pitchers were held to a strict 25 second clock between pitches for the first time in the history of the College World Series. The pitch clock was instituted in an effort to shorten the games. In 2011, the average total session (game) time was 3:10 with the longest game at 4:25, the shortest at 2:38, the Championship game at 3:21 and only one of the 14 sessions took over four hours to complete.
College World SeriesEdit
The 2011 CWS, the first played at TD Ameritrade Park, consisted of 14 sessions with a total attendance of 321,684 for an average session attendance of 22,977. The 2011 total was both the highest since 2005 and 2,294 spectators more than the 2010 per-game average of 20,683.
The 2013 CWS, also consisted of 14 sessions with a total attendance of 341,483 for an average session attendance of 24,392 (both all-time highs for the CWS).
TD Ameritrade Park is becoming well known for its lack of home runs leading to the idea that teams must play small ball to win. Nevertheless, KJ Harrison from Oregon State hit a grand slam—the first ever in the ballpark during the College World Series—to deep left-center field in June 2017, during a 13–1 win over Louisiana State. The first grand slam in TD Ameritrade Park was hit by Creighton in a game against Utah Valley.
The Omaha Nighthawks competed in TD Ameritrade Park in the former United Football League. The highest attendance for a Nighthawks game at TD Ameritrade Park was 17,697, for the October 15, 2011 game against the Las Vegas Locomotives. The lowest attendance, almost exactly a year later on October 17, 2012, was 2,234, with the Locomotives also the opponent.
Big Ten Conference TournamentEdit
The first Big Ten Conference Baseball Tournament to be played at TD Ameritrade Park was held in 2014. The championship game of that tournament was attended by 19,965 spectators, which remains a record for single-day attendance at an NCAA conference tournament game. The Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 8–4, to claim the Big Ten title. The tournament was once again hosted at TD Ameritrade Park in 2016. Beginning in 2018, the Big Ten Conference arranged for TD Ameritrade Park to host its tournament every season until 2022.
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