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Rardy

Rosenblatt Stadium - Home of the CWS

Rosenblatt Stadium   5 members have voted

  1. 1. Replace or Repair?

    • Build new for $50 million (or more)
      2
    • Rehab Blatt for $25 million
      2
    • Other (describe below)
      0
    • This is a tough problem!
      1

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18 posts in this topic

Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, south of DT Omaha, is the country's largest minor league baseball stadium. It seats 23,145 and for 57 years has been the site of the annual College World Series. The Omaha Royals (triple-A affiliate of KC) and Creighton University also use the facility.

The city of Omaha is responsible for maintaining and upgrading the stadium and in 2001 alone, spent more than $7 million in repairs. But more than $25 million in repairs are needed, and the city has floated the idea of an entirely new stadium for $50 million, in exchange for a 10-year contract in lieu of the traditional 5-year one. The new stadium would be build adjacent to the Qwest Center and Creighton downtown.

Additionally, the new stadium would have 9,000 permanent seats (all that's needed for the Royals and Creighton), but have 14,000 expandable seats for a capacity of 25,000 for the CWS. Currently, Rosenblatt looks empty at Royals and Creighton games because of the massive size of the stadium.

A LOT of grassroots organizations have formed to preserve the Blatt because of sentimentality and connections to half-century old stadium. Former players and coaches have been particularly vocal. But locals and and Mayor Fahey are concerned that if expensive upgrades aren't made, the CWS will leave Omaha altogether. And they don't want to maintain 2 stadiums.

Soooo...what do you do? Spend a ridiculous amount of money rehabbing an old facility without a 10-year contract from CWS, with empty seats for the Royals and Creighton? Or build a new one and lose the memories and sentimentality from Rosenblatt?

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I see I'm the only one so far that voted "This is a Tough Problem". Definetly not to rehab; seems like wasting money with continuous repairs. Building a new stadium is a long-term answer. Hopefully the CWS will renew their contract?? Where else would they ever play?? Rosenblatt/Omaha's legacy is etched in stone IMO to be the annual host!

Baseball Stadiums/Ball Parks just seem like a better fit around downtown areas.

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I see I'm the only one so far that voted "This is a Tough Problem". Definetly not to rehab; seems like wasting money with continuous repairs. Building a new stadium is a long-term answer. Hopefully the CWS will renew their contract?? Where else would they ever play?? Rosenblatt/Omaha's legacy is etched in stone IMO to be the annual host!

Baseball Stadiums/Ball Parks just seem like a better fit around downtown areas.

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Kevin Costner appears to be weighing in on this issue, per several different Omaha news networks.

He said Friday, "I haven't necessarily agreed to do anything, but I'm in support of the stadium."

He said, "If I can help I'm very willing to," he said. "I'll be a soldier."

An Omaha group called Save Rosenblatt is seeking Costner's help and was hoping for an answer next week. His publicist told him about the effort Friday, and Costner readily agreed to help.

But, Costner also said, "I am not looking to polarize the community.

"What do you give up on and what do you start anew? That's a big philosophical question," he said, "and I'm going to stay out of that.

"If the series wants to move downtown to a new stadium, and that's what the citizenry wants, that's great too."

He wasn't sure yet Friday what form his help would take, but he was eager to help Omaha.

"I've always enjoyed my time there and have been well-treated," he said.

"If they need to kick off something we can come up there with the band to play ... I really don't know," Costner said. "I think probably they'll find a way and it'll either make sense to me or it won't."

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Here's a rendering of a what a new baseball stadium, home for the CWS, could look like:

NewStadium.jpg

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Another article in today's World-Herald here>>

Fahey and the CWS Inc. (corporation that runs the College World Series) are in favor of a new stadium in NoDo next to Creighton and Qwest. It's not clear yet if the Royals would play in any new stadium, although if Rosenblatt were torn down, it doesn't seem they'd have any option...

Dennis Poppe, NCAA senior director for baseball and football, said the proposal puts the downtown stadium north of the Qwest Center Omaha. He said it would have 25,000 to 30,000 seats, though it is still undecided whether those would all be permanent or be a mix of permanent and temporary.

The initial proposal included a stadium that would cost upward of $50 million and would be built in the so-called NoDo area between Creighton University and the Qwest Center Omaha. It was to have 9,000 permanent seats, with the ability to expand to 25,000 seats for the CWS. The Omaha Royals were also to play in that stadium.

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Yet another article in today's WH

Fahey said the NCAA indicated that it wants a stadium with open concourses, hospitality suites and a clean zone where things like alcohol and unlicensed merchandise are not allowed.

"The other issue was proximity to restaurants, attractions, hotels and the riverfront," Fahey said. "It became obvious that we can't meet a lot of those needs at Rosenblatt."

Fahey's chief of staff, Paul Landow, said that within a mile radius of the proposed stadium site, there are 40 full-service restaurants and 11 hotels. He said more development would follow if a ballpark were built.

"Regardless of the location in NoDo, the stadium would be a catalyst for the area," Landow said.

The site also would be aesthetically pleasing, Fahey said. "We think it aligns beautifully with the pedestrian bridge," he said.

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Thanks for the updates and graphics Rardy, sounds like this might be tricky as what to do?? Though I have never been to Omaha, I guess the city could be torn in deciding?? The No-Do location sounds great! Esp. next to Qwest Center; could be a nice Entertainment District with the hotels and restuarants. The awesome pedestrian bridge sets it off. However down near the Zoo could be O.K. too I guess?? College atmosphere?

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The debate seems to be shifting away from should we build a new ballpark, to where should we build a new ballpark? This is good news for those who want a new ballpark.

From the mayor's statements, a new stadium seems to be a foregone conclusion:

The mayor's proposal

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Thanks for the updates and graphics Rardy, sounds like this might be tricky as what to do?? Though I have never been to Omaha, I guess the city could be torn in deciding?? The No-Do location sounds great! Esp. next to Qwest Center; could be a nice Entertainment District with the hotels and restuarants. The awesome pedestrian bridge sets it off. However down near the Zoo could be O.K. too I guess?? College atmosphere?

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Yet another article in today's WH here>>

The debate is now taking a slightly more political and nasty twist. Save Rosenblatt supporters, led by Councilman Gernandt, have hired an architect to develop renovation plans for the stadium. They are now accusing Mayor Fahey of witholding information on what the actual cost of building a new stadium in NoDo will be, and of using fear tactics that the CWS will leave Omaha.

The Mayor's office has reiterated that they will support any plan that will keep the CWS here.

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...the plot thickens...

Fahey is now saying that Rosenblatt is beyond repair - rehabs aren't possible given the demands of the NCAA to have hotels, training fields, ample parking all nearby plus an alcohol free zone and space for vendors.

Fahey is advocating a site in NoDo since the existing site can be sold to the Doorly Zoo to help pay off the bonds for the existing stadium. He said he is also now pressuring the NCAA for a 20-year contract (instead of the previously-announced 10-year one) and has asked a "group" out at UNO to explore alternative financing options (very likely the school's Public Administration department).

I wonder why the sudden shift? Mounting political pressure perhaps, but also the growing strength of the Save Rosenblatt campaign that's becoming increasingly vocal.

WH article here>>

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The NCAA has chosen a new stadium:

College World Series of Omaha Inc. and the mayor's office released a statement saying that the NCAA had told them that the NCAA would agree to consider a long-term contract of 10, 15 or 20 years if a new downtown stadium was part of the deal.

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Renderings and more info released on a DT ballpark today:

Fahey said Thursday that the estimated price tag for the 23,600-seat ballpark is between $95.1million and $116.5 million.

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Jeff Beals over at the CityWeekly and a VP at Coldwell-Banker, has weighed in on the new stadium issue saying in this week's City Weekly:

We need to move forward, not only to keep the College World Series but to capitalize on the amazing economic development that would spin off from a major sports facility... By moving our yard downtown, we can lock up the CWS and create an amazing entertainment zone filled by 70 Omaha Royals home games and other special events. Throw in the proposed downtown streetcar line, which could run right next to the stadium, and we would have an area primed for incredible economic growth.

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Congrats to Omaha for keeping the CWS til the year 2035!!! :thumbsup:

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