OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — After new guidance was issued from the NCAA that states local health entities should decide capacity and masking for events, the College World Series is officially back at 100% capacity. Originally capacity was set at 50%.
"We knew that they were considering changes. When it actually occurred, we were fist-pumping, everybody in the office," College World Series Executive Director Kathryn Morrissey said.
The guidance from the NCAA was released Wednesday and officially states, "...local public health authorities will determine fan capacities at championship events. The NCAA will not set a predetermined limit."
Due to the declining case count and widespread vaccinations, the Douglas County Health Department decided to allow 100% capacity. The College World Series will also not require masks, since the Omaha mask mandate expires May 25. Proof of vaccinations will not be required to enter, but the health department is floating around the idea of setting up a vaccine clinic on-site to get more shots in arms. Details on the clinic are still being discussed.
"That kind of idea sounds intriguing to me because I know that College World Series has been a magnet for fans from all across the country," Morrissey said. "If there’s an opportunity perhaps with everyone’s cooperation to offer shots for folks who haven’t had an opportunity to get them before, I’d support that.”
For Morrissey and the rest of the CWS organization, it is now crunch time. On Wednesday the organization was still operating as if only 50% of the stadium could be filled.
"The next 30 days are just going to be a bee hive of activity here," Morrissey said.
Season ticket holders will be contacted this week via e-mail now that there is more seating availability, vendors still have to be set up and safety protocols still have to be considered, like stringent disinfecting practices.
"We're going to ask for people's patience," Morrissey said.
The College World Series begins June 26.