Officials looking forward to return of College World Series

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 01:40:50-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Representatives from College World Series, the NCAA, and MECA held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss what's to come in the next few days.

All parties expressed their excitement to be back in Omaha for the 71st College World Series. The games get underway on Saturday.

Although they're anticipating some great games, there are still a few COVID regulations in place to mitigate spread as much as possible.

Despite changes this year, they say they're ready to play ball, especially since athletes lost the chance last year.

“Most importantly this is all about hosting the national champion who play this game for the love of the game and that's why we're here, to watch some great baseball and we'll get to do that,” said Jack Diesing, President of College World Series of Omaha Inc.

Fans grateful for the return of the College World Series

Certain aspects of the fan experience like opening ceremonies and watching practice won't be available to fans this year.

NCAA representatives say planning for those events would have needed to be done way before 100% capacity was allowed.

"Those decisions around planning have to be made quite a bit in advance of the event itself. So we got to a point in the planning process that those decisions had to be made and we still were not to the point where we are today where we’re able to have 100 percent capacity at the venue," Anthony Holman, NCAA's Managing Director of Championships said. "While we’re very excited and happy and thankful to do this safely, we don’t want the event to be associated with being a super spreader. We want to still mitigate as best we can any surge in numbers of infections."

At the same time teams are arriving in Omaha, fans are also making their way to downtown. While some of the experience is different, the excitement from the fans is still the same.

It could be anyone's game with eight teams, but fans of course are still making their predictions.

Local baseball enthusiasts Doug and Lauren Clauson have been attending for years. While their favorite teams didn't make the series this year, they're still enjoying the festivities.

"I think it’s just the excitement of all the fans and the atmosphere. It’s America’s pastime!" Doug Clauson said.

"I like when my team, Texas Tech, makes it so I can watch my team and cheer them on," Lauren Clauson said.

Since Texas Tech didn't make it, Lauren said she's rooting for everyone but the Longhorns. She thinks Mississippi State will take it all the way.

Download the Men's College World Series app to see what festivities are available this year.

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