‘Biggest Fan Fest Ever’ Planned
OMAHA, NE – The 2010 NCAA® Men’s College World Series®(CWS) Opening Celebration on Friday, June 18 will kick off in style with an expanded Fan Fest area and a memorable Opening Ceremonies agenda, according to Jack Diesing, Jr., president of CWS of Omaha, Inc..
“The College World Series is all about creating a fan-friendly atmosphere and outstanding experience for the student-athlete and coaches,” Diesing acknowledged. “With its expanded Fan Fest area and all of the special events to honor Rosenblatt Stadium, the 2010 College World Series promises to be an exceptionally exciting and memorable experience for everyone.”
Opening Celebration activities will start at 9 a.m. inside the stadium when the first open team practice session begins. Autograph sessions presented by NCAA Corporate Champion AT&T will start one-half hour after each team practice on the Rosenblatt Stadium concourse.
The Fan Fest area opens at 10 a.m. in the stadium’s southwest parking lot where fans of all ages can experience the excitement and spirit of college baseball and other NCAA sports. “This year is going to be the biggest Fan Fest ever with more participants and more interactive areas than we’ve ever had in the past,” according to Scott Fosler, NCAA assistant director of brand strategies and events. “Among the fan activities are batting cages, speed-pitch booths, interactive games from NCAA sports, autograph sessions, youth baseball clinics, product demonstrations, prizes and several new things to do.”
Making its debut at this year’s Series is NCAA Corporate Champion Capital One, which is sponsoring seven different interactive areas including the 70-foot by 70-foot Rosenblatt Home Run Derby Field, a batting cage, two speed pitch cages and a ‘wild pitch’ interactive area where fans can put on actual catching gear and try to stop a variety of wayward pitches. “There will also be an ‘Against the Wall’ photo opportunity, which is a chance for people to pose for a photo reaching over the wall of Rosenblatt Stadium as they try to save a home run in front of a big crowd,” Fosler noted. “In addition, there will be a ‘Steal Home Challenge’ where two runners are timed as they race side-by-side from third base to home plate.” These activities will be available throughout the Series.
Also making its debut at the Series is the new Coke Zero Taste® What’s Possible Tour featuring a 53-foot double stage and awning trailer with rooftop hospitality area and LED screen, which is sponsored by NCAA Corporate Champion Coca-Cola®. The platform features a serving bar area, interactive games, laser graffiti, photo synth and Facebook face recognition programs. Coca-Cola is also bringing back its popular Spirit of Champions Tour for the entire Series, along with its 32-foot fully solar-powered recycling trailer designed to educate consumers about keeping recyclable items out of the nation’s solid waste stream. Recycling bins will be placed throughout the stadium.
Another newcomer to the Series is NCAA Corporate Partner LG, which is bringing an interactive tent showcasing baseball video games, 3-D TV screens, home appliances and photo opportunities.
Located to the right of Rosenblatt Stadium’s main gates will be a 9-foot by 12-foot LED video screen, which will be elevated to make it visible from the Fan Fest area. The video screen will broadcast games live on June 18-20 and June 28 and 29, along with highlights, great moments from previous Series, and segments of “The Long Home Run” documentary.” “With the extra demand for general admission seating this year, the video screen will accommodate fans who may not be able to get into the stadium,” Fosler noted.
A Men’s College World Series Memories Tent will be available on June 18 for fans to record audio or video messages describing their favorite CWS memories from Rosenblatt Stadium. Select video memories will be broadcast during the games on the Rosenblatt Stadium video board, while audio recordings will be preserved by the Douglas County Historical Society for future college baseball fans to enjoy as they pass through the historic Fort Omaha. The Historical Society will also collect audio recordings on June 19 and 20.
The AT&T 3G Experience area will feature a “You Call the Play” interactive, a photo station, product displays, text messaging games and giveaways, including a commemorative poster. AT&T will also provide a charging station for cell phones regardless of the brand or model. In addition, former baseball greats will be available to sign autographs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the AT&T 3G Experience and at AT&T stores in the area.
Several other Fan Fest activities this year will include:
- Batting and pitching cages sponsored by Rawlings, which will operate a trailer where fans can order custom-made, engraved College World Series bats.
- A Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) tent where fans can get information about the new TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha, which will be the new home of the NCAA Men’s College World Series starting in 2011.
- Youth baseball mini-clinics conducted by NCAA coaches and student-athletes will be held at the Home Run Derby field throughout the late morning and early afternoon with open registration available on-site.
- NCAA Corporate Partner Reese’s in cooperation with Hy-Vee Supermarket will donate $200 to Boys Town for every home run hit during the College World Series. Reese’s will provide coupons and keep tally of the home runs in the Fan Fest area throughout the Series.
- Event 1 merchandising booths where fans can purchase “The Long Home Run – Omaha and the College World Series” documentary, as well as copies of “Rosenblatt Stadium – Omaha’s Diamond on the Hill,” published by the Omaha World-Herald.
- Free product sampling by Coke Zero, Papa John’s Pizza, vitaminwater® revive® and Mello Yello.
The 2010 College World Series Road to Omaha® Jam concert featuring country music singers Julianne Hough and Bucky Covington III will start at 6 p.m. in Rosenblatt’s southeast parking area, immediately followed by Opening Ceremonies inside the stadium.
A highlight of this year’s Opening Ceremonies activities will be the introduction of the CWS Legends Team, which represents those student-athletes who had the best College World Series performances throughout the 60 years the event has been played at Rosenblatt Stadium. The team consists of 27 members: two former student-athletes per fielding position, four pitchers, two designated hitters, three head coaches and two utility players. Several of the Legends Team members will be introduced during Opening Ceremonies, including Steve Arlin, Sal Bando, Skip Bertman, Nomar Garciaparra and Will Clark. Other family-oriented activities during Opening Ceremonies are:
- A performance by the 45-member U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band.
- A demonstration by the SOCOM Para-Commandos Parachute Team.
- NCAA academic award presentations and introduction of participating teams with video board highlights.
- A fireworks finale.