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Rosenblatt Stadium

Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium
Neighborhood: South Omaha
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Now that the old Yankee Stadium is gone, few parks outside of Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park can claim that they have more history than Omaha’s Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. And soon, it too will be no more.

Opened in 1947, Rosenblatt Stadium is older than any Major League ballpark save the homes of the Red Sox and Cubs. With seating for 25,500, it’s the largest non-MLB stadium in the country, and the current park of the Omaha Royals, the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

Construction of Rosenblatt Stadium in 1947Construction of Rosenblatt Stadium in 1947However, it is surely Rosenblatt’s affiliation with the College World Series that makes it not only regionally famous, but a must-see destination on any true baseball fan’s lifetime fields list. Our advice for those who haven’t checked it off yet? Hurry up. Rosenblatt Stadium might be called out as early as 2010, with the razed lot used for additional parking at the adjacent Henry Doorly Zoo.

So, what makes Rosenblatt Stadium so special? Why will so many Omahans be sad to see it go? Start with almost 60 years of College World Series games. Begun in 1950, the annual field of 288 collegiate baseball teams is whittled down to a field of 64 for the NCAA tournament. The final 8 meet for 10 days of baseball at Rosenblatt. Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium: Right Field LineJohnny Rosenblatt Stadium: Right Field LineSince its humble beginnings, over 7,000,000 fans have witnessed a College World Series game at the stadium, and our guess is that not more than a handful left unhappy. One of the beauties of Rosenblatt Stadium is that there is hardly a bad seat in the house. Though some views behind home plate are partially obstructed, most fans enjoy an intimate experience. Many of the seats are covered, protecting fans from rain, and a gentle night breeze is known to cool down the uncovered fans farther down the foul line and in the general admission outfield.

Like many older parks, Rosenblatt also has its fair share of character. From the iconic “Road to Omaha” statue in front, to the to the heaping and not-too-terribly priced bloomin’ onions sold, almost in secret, at just one stand in the front of the stadium, Rosenblatt has an understated ambience in line with a mid-sized Midwestern city like Omaha. Bloomin' OnionsBloomin’ OnionsMany of the fans at Rosenblatt for the Series are local or have been making the pilgrimage for years. Beer sales are forbidden, and the stands brim with hopeful high school sluggers, cheering teenage girls, and quite a few fans years younger than that. Often, a visitor to Rosenblatt gets the impression that everyone not wearing a shirt or hat bearing a specific affiliation simply cheers for good, honest, well-played baseball, regardless of which team was playing it.

About the only negativity in the place can be heard in the good-natured boos the fans vociferously levy on any ball girl who fails to catch a foul coming off of the backstop’s protective netting. That, and the time organist Lambert Bartak was ejected for taunting the umpire with the theme to the “Mickey Mouse Club,” one of only two organists ever to be removed from play. My guess: despite this, the players lined up to shake hands at the end of the game anyway, just like they always do. Road to Omaha StatueRoad to Omaha Statue

In addition to the College World Series, the stadium has also been home to four pro franchises: their current tenant, the Royals, a Dodgers affiliate, and two incarnations of Cardinals teams. The Royals, now members of the expanded Pacific Coast League, have called Rosenblatt home since their inception in 1969.

Unfortunately, despite being four time league champs, the minor league club struggles to fill what is, by non-MLB standards, a very large ballpark. Of course, the College World Series has the opposite problem. Despite the addition of 10,000 seats as recently as 2001, it looks like plans to press ahead and build a new downtown Omaha stadium for the Series are likely. A second, smaller park, whose plans are in the works, might give the Royals the more intimate feeling they desire.

Either way, as movements to save the stadium have thus far proved unsuccessful, it looks like Rosenblatt Stadium’s days are numbered. Enjoy it while you can.

 

Omaha Rosenblatt StadiumOmaha Rosenblatt StadiumRosenblatt Stadium AerialRosenblatt Stadium Aerial

 
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Location

Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium
1202 Bert Murphy Ave
Omaha, NE 68107
United States
41° 13' 31.6668" N, 95° 55' 48.9612" W

Comments

Terry Williams (not verified) says:

June 29, 2010 : 4 years 4 weeks ago

Terry Williams's picture

Do you know how I can get a seat from the stadium.

locomo says:

July 12, 2010 : 4 years 2 weeks ago

locomo's picture

We’ve asked around a bit and no news yet. We’ll inquire a little more and see what we can find out.

gail (not verified) says:

July 21, 2010 : 4 years 1 week ago

gail's picture

I also am very interested in information on a seat from the stadium

morgan says:

August 4, 2010 : 3 years 51 weeks ago

morgan's picture

Just spoke with the Omaha Royals - any decisions about getting seats or parts of the stadium before its torn down will be made by the City of Omaha - it’s their building apparently. We’ll try to contact them next and respond back here with any more details we can find out.

Also, for folks planning a visit to the stadium - the only way you can actually see the ballpark is by buying a ticket to see the Royals play. There is also a stadium store open most days from 10-5pm and during game times if you want to purchase a souvenir.

Anonymous (not verified) says:

November 29, 2010 : 3 years 34 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

good riddance! Its over! No more CWS and having tofight through traffic just to get home or having to worry that I’ll actually get a parking spot when I get there, no more rearranging my life around game schedules, no more cracked foundation from weekly fireworks displays, no more getting woken up by a fireworks show when the games go into extra innings and they just HAVE TO set those things off at 11:30 or 12:00 at night. Or how about this last saturday, my day to sleep in when I was awoken by drum and what sounded like a marching band at 8:30 in the morning (the game didn’t start to 1 people). I am so happy that the stadium is dead. That thing was a complete pain in the a**! It never should have been placed in a residential neighborhood.

Anonymous (not verified) says:

November 29, 2010 : 3 years 34 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

I’m still just wondering about the seats, maybe a call to the City of Omaha might shed some light

Anonymous (not verified) says:

December 17, 2010 : 3 years 32 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

Hello, I just want to know if anything has been heard on weather we can get some seats or if they are going to be auctioned off at all, who would I have to talk to or call in order to get some information, please and thanks, Ps enjoy the new place

Jason (not verified) says:

June 11, 2011 : 3 years 7 weeks ago

Jason's picture

I’d also like to know how to go about purchasing a seat from Rosenblatt?

Anonymous (not verified) says:

June 13, 2011 : 3 years 6 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

i love how this guy up here is bashing rosenblatt i bet you work at taco bell and live with your mom you 30 year old asshole rosenblatt was a landmark if you didnt like it move you prick iam sad to see rosenblatt get torn down ive had so many memories from that ball park and now my baseball team is getting the score board from right feild and lights from rosenblatt

locomo says:

June 13, 2011 : 3 years 6 weeks ago

locomo's picture

@anonymous - hey, love your passion but please watch your language

Diane (not verified) says:

June 6, 2012 : 2 years 7 weeks ago

Diane's picture

Oh no, I hate to hear this about Rosenblatt stadium. Although I have not lived in Omaha in over twenty years, I have such fond memories of Omaha and Rosenblatt Stadium. I met my husband at the stadium on July 3rd, 1986. I finished my four years in the Air Force at Offut AFB and loved Omaha & decided to stay. Good thing that I did as only a few months later I went to a Beach Boys & Moody Blues concert at the stadium. I met my husband at that concert. Omaha is such a wonderful city with the friendliest people I have ever met. Such fond memories of beautiful city.

Anonymous (not verified) says:

July 14, 2012 : 2 years 2 weeks ago

Anonymous's picture

And just like that, The city wins, You lose. Move for money, Too sad. Welcome to the Corporate World Series folks, Please put your feelings to the right and walk inside on the left.

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