Even before the storm sirens blared, I was about ready to declare that downtown had successfully passed the first workday edition of the College World Series. All those concerns about parking and traffic combined with a workday turned out to be unwarranted. Traffic moved smoothly both before both games, and the area parking lots never completely filled up. That was much to the disappointment of businesses who tried to capitalize on the demand by charging Rosenblatt prices for parking downtown. One lot already marked down their parking from $35 to $20, and many lots struggled to find takers at $15 when MECA's lots still had spots open at $10 a car.
Will downtown Omaha have a problem next year when the CWS and the Olympic Swim Trials overlap? Maybe. I saw an awful lot of open spaces around the Civic, so while people will have to hike (or take shuttle busses), there will be a place to park. Even so, it's only a couple of days...and a rare event Omaha could never turn down.
And of course, then the storm hit, sending fans scurrying for cover. As anybody who's ever waited out a rain delay at Rosenblatt can attest, there's far more options to take cover at TD Ameritrade Park when a storm hits. Certainly being able to scurry over to the Qwest Center is a huge improvement over racing a mile to your car in the storm. And the concourses at the Qwest Center can accommodate far more people than the claustrophobic insides of Rosenblatt.
Bottom line: the decision to move the College World Series downtown is quickly being validated as the right decision for Omaha each and every day.