(Omaha, NE) -- The number of fans attending the College World Series so far this year, is just about the same amount of fans who attended in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down last year.
Although the numbers are pretty similar through the first five games, 110,000 people in 2021 versus 114,000 in 2019, College World Series' organizers tell WOWT 6 News that “it’s unbelievable” that attendance is on track to hit 2019 numbers. Starting May 21, organizers had less than 30 days from learning that the NCAA would allow full capacity at games to opening day. Since then, they quickly realized that competing teams drew some of their most loyal fans.
CWS board President Jack Diesing tells 6 News, “a month ago, when we went to no limitations on attendance, nobody thought we’d have attendance these first five games like we have. Nor did we think so many people would be coming in from out-of-town, so we are absolutely thrilled.”
Diesing says although they are thrilled about the attendance numbers so far, they are disappointed that they weren't able to sell the cheaper general admission tickets like in the past. A tradition that held for the previous 70 years. “We didn’t want to have people standing in line, shoulder to shoulder outside, with no way of contract tracing ... adding another layer of uncertainty to having a full stadium."
In 2019, the economic impact of the CWS was a whopping $88,300,000 and its too early to tell what the impact will be this year as Diesing and his staff have a lot more numbers to crunch. Final attendance and revenue numbers for the CWS won’t be known until the end of summer.