College World Series bleacher bums can make room for more by “schoochying” over, in the immortal words of former Rosenblatt Stadium announcer Jack Payne.
But Winnebagos and other RVs can’t schoochy so well, according to the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald.
So Dingerville, the temporary RV park outside Rosenblatt, will shrink for this year’s series by half. Instead of 64 RV stalls, there will be 32.
The RV spaces are moving out to make room for new, fan-friendly features that are coming to what is growing into a festival area at Rosenblatt’s front door, according to officials of the NCAA, the College World Series Inc. and the City of Omaha.
“We have only so much space,” said Dennis Poppe, the NCAA’s director of baseball, “and too much to put in there.”
Larry Foster, the city parks director, said: “There’s a new, family-oriented, fun, festive area being brought in that could be used by 200,000 people. That’s judged to be more valuable than overnight parking for 32 people.”
A series of falling dominoes bumped out half the population of Dingerville, the village of baseball fans that springs up every summer for the CWS.
The Coca-Cola Spirit of Champions Tour, new this year, will be set up on the southwest corner of the Rosenblatt property, outside the main entrance to the stadium. It’s an interactive event area in which people can play three-point shooting, batting, soccer and video games.
It will be just south of another interactive sports area that has been at the CWS before. That’s the NCAA Beyond the Game Tour, from CBS Sports. Popular with fans last year, Poppe said, Beyond the Game allows fans to put themselves into great NCAA sports moments.
CBS and Coca-Cola are NCAA corporate partners, but making room for the events is not only about business, Poppe said. More events make the CWS more fun for more people, he said, and gives fans who arrive early something to do before the games.
The interactive area will take up what used to be the drop-off, pick-up and parking area for shuttle and team buses.
The bus area will move to the east. It will displace more than 100 parking spots for CWS season ticket holders. Cutting the RV lot, on the north side of the Rosenblatt property, in half will make room for about 100 parking spots for season ticket holders.
The reduced space for RVs is unfortunate, Foster said, and series officials tried to find another place to move the buses, but could not.
So far, about 30 people requesting RV spots have been turned down. Some have been quite upset, he said.
Among those left out are William “Casey” Martin of Clear Lake, Iowa.
He’s bringing his son and several teammates from the FedEx Little League team of Mason City, Iowa, to the series. Martin, a native of Omaha, never has stayed in Dingerville but thought it would be a great experience for the ballplayers, not to mention dads.
“It’s disappointing,” he said. “With the kids, it would have been so cool to be there.”
He said he didn’t know where they would stay, but noted that they would still come. The city offered some options for RV parking other than Dingerville.
“That’s not the same, though, as sitting around there with the other kids and talking baseball,” Martin said. “These are 12-year-old kids who are all positive they’re going to play in the College World Series someday.”