Note: this post has been updated as of June 1, 2018 to reflect current recommendations and information.
Come summertime, you can’t think of Omaha without thinking of the Collegiate Baseball Championship. The annual tournament blends America’s favorite pastime with Omaha’s flair for celebration (and food). Locals look forward to it all year and baseball fans reserve their spots at games, in hotels, and at tailgates months in advance.
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably counting down the days until game time. Use our guide to find details about what’s going on during the series, our favorite nearby hot spots to grab a bite, and even events taking place outside of the tournament!
Collegiate Baseball Championship | June 16 – 27
For more information and game schedules, be sure to visit them online for more details.
The History of the Series in Omaha
Before we get started though, let’s brush up on a little bit of history. The Collegiate Baseball Championship has been held in Omaha, Nebraska since 1950. Before our famed TD Ameritrade Park was constructed, games were held at the beloved Rosenblatt Stadium from 1950 through 2010. In 2011, the first tournament was held at the brand new park — also home to the Creighton Bluejays!
Photo courtesy of Blur Parties
Tailgates are a traditional part of the series and you’ll find plenty of them! All you need to do is walk around the TD Ameritrade parking lots as game time rolls around. Rest assured, there will be a place to celebrate — even as early as 8 a.m.!
Blur Parties hosts an annual tailgate just 40 yards from the stadium. In their eighth year, the event will include a mouth-watering food buffet, non-alcoholic drinks, a cash bar, games and plenty of social opportunities with other diehard fans. Buy your tickets before game day to ensure you get in!
Parking at TD Ameritrade Park
During the Collegiate Baseball Championship, parking at the stadium and at the CenturyLink Center costs $10. This applies to all lots other than D and B as those are reserved for season-ticket and premium-seat holders. You can find more information on parking near the center here! And if you don’t want to drive, there is a bicycle valet located on Mike Fahey St. between 13th and 14th Streets.
Or, just hop on The Metro! The Omaha Metro offers multiple options for those headed to TD Ameritrade Park this year. During the entire series, they’re offering the Stadium Circulator for 25 cents in addition to standard routes near the stadium for $1.25. Check out the Stadium Circulator map to see if it runs near where you will be parking or staying.
Where to Eat
If you’re looking for something other than hotdogs and stadium nachos, step outside TD Ameritrade Park to get your meals. Omaha is bustling with burger joints, steakhouses, BBQ restaurants and even 21 delicious vegan and vegetarian-friendly options. You can also check out our roundups of The 15 Best Meals Under $10 in Omaha and The 12 Best Tacos in Omaha + Council Bluffs.
Or, opt for one of the following destinations within walking distance around the park!
Distance to TD Ameritrade Park: 1 minute walking distance
If you want to be a part of the action, you should be at Blatt Beer & Table. It’s across the street from the stadium and offers some of the most delicious pub fare in the city. Nothing goes better with baseball than a cold brew and their famous Bavarian Pretzel Bites!
Distance to TD Ameritrade Park: 6 minutes walking distance
The Session Room is a rustic bar and grill just down the block from the stadium and it’s the best place to go if you can’t decide what you’re craving. We suggest starting with Cheese Curds and Sidewinder Fries, then trying one of their famous Pizza Cones — a pizza served in the shape of an ice cream cone!
Distance to TD Ameritrade Park: 6 minutes walking distance
The Matt is famous in Omaha and amongst series regulars. That means it’ll be crowded, but if you’re looking for the best selection of craft beer, pub meals and cocktail specials, don’t miss out! Snag a classic Omaha Reuben between games then come back afterward for live music.
The Old Mattress Factory also hosts the Omaha Baseball Village at 501 N. 13th Street — your headquarters for all things baseball! You’ll find giveaways, live games on the 13-foot Jumbotron, live music between games and a bigger and better beer garden for 2018. Sip on beer and enjoy food from local food trucks while the kids practice in the Bullpen.
Distance to TD Ameritrade Park: 9 minutes walking distance
DJ’s Dugout has five Omaha area locations, but the Downtown restaurant is less than ten minutes from TD Ameritrade Park. With TV screens covering most of the walls, you can even watch the game from the comfort of a booth with a mouth-watering burger in hand!
Where to Stay
Photo courtesy of Hilton Omaha
There are plenty of places to stay in Omaha — whether you’re looking for quiet and quaint or lively and baseball-themed! Check out our blog posts, Places To Stay When Visiting Omaha and A Visitor’s Guide to Omaha for more details.
Please note: You may have to join the crowds staying in Lincoln as Omaha hotels sell out quickly!
The Hilton Omaha is just a five-minute walk to TD Ameritrade Park, so it’s an excellent option if you want to be in the middle of the action! It’s also connected to the CenturyLink Center via an enclosed sky bridge so you can get to the Baseball Hall of Fame Tour without going outside.
This newly renovated hotel in downtown Omaha is just on the north side of TD Ameritrade Park. When you leave through the front doors, you’ll be right in the middle of the action! And you can peruse the tailgates on your way to the stadium’s main entrance.
Located in the heart of downtown Omaha, the Capitol District is Omaha’s newest entertainment district. It was built to serve as Omaha’s central entertainment hub, offering a public plaza filled with adorable shops, gourmet restaurants, cozy cafes, swanky bars and overnight accommodations at the 333-room Marriott Omaha Downtown. It’s the perfect way to experience a new side of Omaha while remaining within easy reach of the ball park. Read more about the Capitol District here.
Other City Events Taking Place That Week
The entire city will be celebrating the series (which just so happens to fall over Father’s Day) with special events during the week! When you’re not watching games or exploring classic tourist attractions, check out these opportunities.
When: June 17
Photo courtesy of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
The Omaha Zoo should be on your list whether you’re going during opening weekend or not. If you are planning on going to experience ZOOm during Father’s Day, expect crowds (and plenty of fun!). Fast Action Motorsports Entertainment will be returning with their R/C Racing Tournament and a Race Car Simulator to offer interactive, competitive games. The races are guaranteed to be fun for kids and adults alike, so put the pedal to the metal and see who’s the fastest in the family!
The City of Omaha’s outdoor pools will open as of June 4, and each location will offer free admission for dads (with one paid child admission) on Father’s Day (June 17). If you’re looking for more ideas, here are the best places to go swimming in Omaha this summer.
Do you have any additional tips and tricks for visitors?