Omaha, Nebraska, is no stranger to the sounds of roaring crowds, the crack of the bat, and the sheer joy that fills the air during the College World Series (CWS). This year, the 2023 CWS brought not only the excitement of the games but also a significant positive impact on the city and its citizens. While the tangible statistics and figures on the economic impact are still being compiled, the spirit of the city, the fans, and the local businesses were unequivocally uplifted.
The LSU Tigers became the centerpiece of this year’s excitement, winning their seventh national championship and ending their season as the No. 1 team in the country. They defeated Florida 18-4 in Game 3 of the Men’s College World Series final, a triumphant comeback following a record 24 runs given up in Game 2. Every starting position player for the Tigers managed to get at least one hit, making their victory a true team effort1.
The Tigers’ path to the championship was marked by their resilience and determination. They started the tournament as the No. 5 seed and swept through the regional and super regional rounds to advance to Omaha. Despite an initial loss to No. 1 Wake Forest in the second game of the MCWS, the Tigers rallied to win three consecutive games to secure their place in the final1.
One standout player was LSU outfielder Dylan Crews, the 2023 Golden Spikes Award winner and potential No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB draft. He ended his remarkable season by reaching base in each of the Tigers’ 71 games this season, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored in the final game1.
While the games themselves were undoubtedly thrilling, the joy and camaraderie didn’t stop at the diamond’s edge. Fans took part in a unique tradition at Rocco’s Pizza and Cantina, setting a new Jell-O Shot Challenge record, adding a fun and jovial dimension to the tournament’s experience1.
The impact of the CWS on the city of Omaha extends beyond the boundaries of the stadium. The influx of fans and visitors provides a significant boost to the local economy. Shopping locally is a crucial aspect of supporting the community, stimulating opportunity, enterprise, and jobs. The CWS helped strengthen local economy and community bonds by keeping money in the city, highlighting how such events can have a long-lasting positive impact on the city of Omaha2.
While the specifics of the fan experience and more detailed economic impact are still being researched, it’s clear that the 2023 College World Series was a home run for both the fans and the city of Omaha. The sheer energy, camaraderie, and local business support that flowed through the city are testaments to the significant role the CWS plays in Omaha’s identity. Stay tuned for more detailed analysis and updates as more data becomes available.
From the heart-stopping games to the spirited fan activities and the boost to the local economy, the 2023 College World Series was a grand slam event that has once again proven why Omaha is home to America’s greatest college baseball tournament.