OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha is home to the College World Series, but come 2020 it is expected another major baseball event will take place in the city.
Multiple reports indicate Major League Baseball is planning on moving the 2020 first-year player draft to Omaha.
"I think those of us within the college baseball world have been hoping for this for a while because it made sense," said Kyle Peterson, a college baseball analyst who's covered the CWS for ESPN. Peterson, an staple in the Omaha baseball community, has been pushing for the MLB Draft to be moved to Omaha for years.
"We thought this has made sense for a long time," Peterson said. "I think the city will embrace it and it adds to what is already a really two cool weeks of baseball."
Since 2009, Major League Baseball has held the draft out of its network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. The idea of a destination draft follows suit of other professional sports leagues, such as the NFL and NHL, who move the event to different cities and have made the event in to a major annual showcase.
"I think Omaha will roll out the red carpet like we always do and put on a great show," said Josh Todd, President and Executive Director of the Omaha Sports Commission.
"I think it will surprise Major League Baseball," Peterson said when discussing the amount of fans who will show up to the draft in Omaha. "I think that the show that will be put on from a city-standpoint and the way the city will receive it will show this is a place it should be moving forward."
Early reports speculate the draft will be held at the Holland Center downtown. CHI Health Center Omaha will not be available due to preparations for the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, which take place from June 21st through 28th. The MLB Draft is scheduled to start on June 10th and run through June 12th. Previously the draft's taken place during NCAA Super Regional play, with players sometimes getting selected while literally on the playing field. Moving the draft to its new date ahead of the CWS will let the athletes soak in the special moment and digest their multimillion dollar decision.
"Really for a day like this which is a day you never forget now it's a day dedicated to you and it's a lot healthier for those involved in it," Peterson said.
And come June, there will potentially be more than one road that ends in Omaha.
"I think if it had to be anywhere it had to be Omaha and I think Major League Baseball saw that," Todd said.
With the addition of the MLB Draft, June will be a busy month in Omaha. There will now be three big events, the draft, the College World Series and the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. All three events will be located close to each other downtown.