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The impact of the CWS on Council Bluffs and what fans can find across the river

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 09:42:32-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — The College World Series is a beloved staple in Omaha, but what does it do for the economy and community in Council Bluffs?

College World Series of Omaha Executive Director Kathryn Morrissey said baseball fans are not "one size fits all."

"Some baseball fans prefer a lively atmosphere, others want to have something a little more laid back...they all have different budgets," Morrissey said.

Often, Council Bluffs is the right fit for a certain kind of fan.

"You know quite often we find that some of the youth baseball tournament fans end up in Council Bluffs. They find they have a lot of very economical opportunities there for hotel and restaurants...not as crowded as Omaha is," Morrissey said. "They can go across the river and find a really friendly, laid-back vibe."

Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce President Drew Kamp said CWS attendees are getting closer and closer to the Missouri River.

"A lot of times, you look at the MAC area," Kamp said. "There's a strong concentration of hotels, venues and restaurants — those lines also — the gaming industry, the casinos being right there as well."

Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau's Mark Eckman said the 100 Block is a big draw for visitors.

"It's away from the hustle and bustle. You're not going to deal with any crowds but yet you have this unique atmosphere of historic buildings populated with restaurants, nightlife," Eckman said.

Eckman said there are amenities in Council Bluffs that are unique from Omaha.

"Having three casinos here in Council Bluffs...that's really, sometimes, a real passion for people. They can take that in along with Stir concerts — being outdoors in a venue like that with top entertainment — that's going to be something they're not going to necessarily catch in Omaha," Eckman said.

The College World Series is bringing new energy desperately needed in Nebraska and Iowa.

"While Omaha is the host of the College World Series — all of the surrounding communities make the fans feel welcome," Morrissey said.

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