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Despite no Huskers, downtown businesses hope for boon for Big 10 tourney

Posted at 10:14 PM, May 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-19 23:14:33-04

Nebraska baseball, and their legion of fans, will not be coming to Omaha to compete at their conference tournament next week. 

Still, bar and restaurant owners are preparing for a mini-College World Series after such a large turnout the last time the Big Ten tournament was played in downtown Omaha.

When Nebraska has played in the Big Ten Tournament at TD Ameritrade in the past, things were popping at nearby bars and restaurants. 

"Our inside was full, our rooftop was full, our inside was full it nearly felt like a College World Series day," says general manager of Blatt Bar and Table, Larissa Ramos. 

Expectations at the Blatt Bar and Table have dipped a bit after Nebraska failed to make the top eight in the Big Ten, knocking them out of the tournament. 

But management still expects other Big Ten fan-bases to fill the void. 

"We are staffing a little bit less because Nebraska is not here, I am however still staffing up because Iowa is going to be in it and I believe they travel really well, we think Minnesota will travel really well," says Ramos. 

Over at the Hook and Lime, they'll be hand squeezing a lot more limes despite the lack of Husker games at TD Ameritrade Park. That's because they are also hoping for a strong turnout from out of towners.

"There's a lot of excitement for the Huskers but we didn't really change our expectations for the number of people that are going to be down here because I think the Big 10 teams travel, well their fan bases are great,” says Malm.

Malm is also hoping for a sunny forecast this week. 

"Obviously we're hoping for really good weather to go along with it because we have a very large patio so we almost double in size when the weather is nice,” says Malm. 

The Big Ten Tournament begins this coming Wednesday and will wrap up Sunday with as many as 15 games being played at the park in just a five day span.