Find complete College World Series coverage at Omaha.com/cws.
Click here for College World Series fan information.
Click here for a map with restaurants, shops and other points of interest around TD Ameritrade Park.
Download the complete CWS fan guide here.
Find more CWS information at NCAA.com.
All times Central
June 14 – Opening Celebration Day
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Open Team practices
10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Fan Fest
8:30-10 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies
June 15-Monday, June 18
1-8 p.m.: Fan Fest
4 p.m.: Game 1
8 p.m.: Game 2
8 a.m.-Noon: NCAA Youth Clinics
Tuesday, June 19 – Wednesday, June 20
4:30-7 p.m.: Fan Fest
7 p.m.: Game 1
Thursday, June 21 – Friday, June 22
1-8 p.m.: Fan Fest
4 p.m.: Game 1
8 p.m.: Game 2
Sunday, June 24
9 a.m.: Road to Omaha Run (5K Run/Walk)
Sunday, June 24 – Tuesday June 26
4:30-7 p.m.: Fan Fest
7 p.m.: CWS Finals
See the complete fan schedule here.
Ticket resale: Tickets may not be resold for more than face value on the grounds of TD Ameritrade Park, or within a ½ mile radius of the stadium. The Omaha Police Department will be actively enforcing all scalping laws.
Reserved tickets for games 1-14 show a face value of $28, $29 or $30.
Reserved tickets for the finals show a face value of $33, $34 or $35.
Reserved seats: A limited number of reserved seats will be available for purchases on game days at the TD Ameritrade Park box office beginning at 10 a.m. Reserved ticket-holders may enter through any gate.
General admission: General admission tickets are nonguaranteed, first-come, first-served seats in the right outfield and left outfield bleachers in sections 125-136. GA tickets are not designated for a specific game or date. As long as the ticket holder arrives early enough to be seated, the tickets are good for all games, including finals games. If the GA section is filled to capacity, the gates will close.
On doubleheader days, all fans are required to leave the stadium after the first game. GA ticket holders planning on attending both games will be required to use a new GA ticket and stand in line for re-entry.
GA ticket entrances are at Gate 3 (center field) and Gate 4 (right field).
General admission ticket prices: $80 per book (10 tickets per book) and $11 for single-game tickets sold at the box office during the CWS.
Box office hours: Open at 10 a.m. each day a game is scheduled.
Parking and transportation
No overnight parking will be allowed in TD Ameritrade Park parking lots. Parking lots will close 90 minutes after the last game of the day. Any vehicles left overnight will be towed at the owner's expense.
TD Ameritrade Park: One the TD Ameritrade Park/CenturyLink Center campus, there are about 800 parking stalls available for public use and for those with ADA needs. Public parking in Lots A, E and G are available on a first-come, first-served bases at a cost of $10 per vehicle. Lot A will be available only the first weekend due to the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. There will be no charge for ADA parking. A limited number of ADA parking stalls are also available in Lot B and will be offered to the public daily at no charge. These lots will be open at 8 a.m. on the CWS game days and will close 90 minutes after the event. Tailgating is permitted in all TD Ameritrade Park/CenturyLink Center lots. Tailgate festivities cannot extrend into additional parking stalls and no tents may be staked into the ground. Find more tailgating information at NCAA.com/CWS.
Creighton University: Creightion will have about 1,000 parking stalls available for event parking in lots along Cuming Street from 19th to 25th Streets, and at a lot at 16th and Mike Fahey Streets. The spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served bases with fees starting at $10. These lots will open three hours before the first game and close 90 minutes after the day's final game. Tailgating will be permitted, but no motor homes or recreational vehicles will be admitted. Lots will be patrolled during evening sessions.
City of Omaha: The city has surface lots and garages offering between 1,000 and 4,500 stalls depending on the time of day. Find a complete list of available lots at omaha.centralparking.com. Public parking in these locations is available on a first-come, first-served basis at various prices. No tailgating is permitted in any city-owned surface lot or garage.
ADA pickup/drop off: You may be dropped off near the corners of 12 and Mike Fahey Streets. In addition, Metro buses are ADA-accessible and will be loading and unloading near the stadium and offering service throughout the CWS.
Circulator buses: The Metro bus system will stop at more than 20 locations throughout the downtown area and drop fans near the stadium. The circulator is scheduled to stop at each location at 10-minute intervals for a fare of 25 cents. It will run continuously from 90 minutes before each game until 90 minutes after the last game. See the stops in the fan guide here.
Stadium Express: The Metro Stadium Express offers park-and-ride services to and from the stadium. Pickup/drop off is located on 13th Street between Cuming and Mike Fahey Streets. Stops are at Carol Hotel, 118th and M. Streets, 72nd and Grover Streets, 72nd and Spring Streets, Crossroads Mall, Westroads Mall, Bakers at American Plaza in Bellevue, and Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. Prices are $3 one-way and $6 for a two-ride event pass. Find more route and time information at ometro.com.
Bikes, motorcycles: The city is offering dedicated parking for motorcycles and bicycles. Motorcycle parking is available on Mike Fahey Street, between 14th and 15th Streets. If you ride a bicycle, free valet service is available on Mike Fahey Street between 13th and 14th Streets.
Gates open two hours in advance of game time (parking lots open at 8:00 a.m.)
Anyone needing to leave the stadium and then re-enter will be screened again before being allowed back into the stadium.
TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is a smoke-free facility. Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the park. Smoking areas are at Gates 2 and 3.
Items prohibited at TD Ameritrade Park: Bottles, cans, food or drink coolers, outside food or drink (20-ounce or smaller empty, clear plastic bottles will be allowed for water), large bags, backpacks, Frisbees, beach balls, large umbrellas, laser pointers, artificial noisemakers, fireworks, illegal drugs or alcohol, weapons of any kind (including lawfully concealed firearms), commercial signs or banners without the prior approval of TD Ameritrade Park, any item deemed to challenge public safety.
Cameras: Cameras are permitted for still photography and video for personal use, but lens length must be shorter than approximately one inch, and no additional detachable lenses are permitted.
Search: All packages brought into the park are subject to search and seizure.
As the 2012 College World Series was about to open, a guy in UCLA Bruins blue shouted to a Stony Brook relief pitcher trotting off the field after batting practice.
Josh Mason looked into the stands near the Seawolves' dugout. He smiled when he recognized the man — with close-cropped hair that's starting to gray, and an artificial leg — as a former youth team coach from California, Bill Keep.
“I got your seeds!” Keep yelled.
He tossed a bag of cracked pepper-flavored Spitz sunflower seeds. It landed in Mason's hands right in front of his breadbasket.
That toss Friday was one of three sunflower seed deliveries from Keep to a College World Series player he had helped coach. He also pitched Spitz to Trevor Brown, UCLA's multitalented first baseman, and to Alex Mejia Jr., the star shortstop of the Arizona Wildcats.
Three years ago, the three ballplayers cracked seeds in the dugout while competing in summer ball for the same Southern California youth team, the Playa Vista Orioles. Keep was an assistant coach. The Orioles came within one game of making it to the Connie Mack World Series in Texas.
Today, Brown, Mejia and Mason suit up for three different teams in the College World Series. The Playa Vista Orioles' former pitching coach will cheer them on from the stands in one of those harmonious convergences that happen at the end of the road to Omaha.
“Chances of that are very little,” Mejia said Saturday. “It's great to see it. ... It tells you how much talent and skill Southern California has.”
Keep observed, “I guess you can see that (Playa Vista) team did so well. It's easy to coach talent.”
As cool as it is to see his former players on college baseball's biggest stage, it's not their presence that brought Keep. He traveled to Omaha from Thousand Oaks, Calif., to watch the College World Series with his 10-year-old son, Connor. They first attended a CWS in 2010. It became their Father's Day tradition.
They're in the UCLA contingent with Bill's buddy Steve Heineman, whose son Tyler plays for the Bruins.
Brown, Mejia and Mason played together in 2009.
“Connie Mack ball is a little laid-back,” Mejia said. “Our high school careers had just ended, and it was summer. Even at that level, though, we had a bunch of competitive guys.”
He and Brown recalled Keep as a good complement to head coach Tim Oliveros.
“He was just a really good coach, a good guy to play for,” Brown said of Keep. “He was someone that you could talk the game with, and he was very energetic in the dugout.”
The three players from the Playa Vista Orioles haven't done much catching up with each other. That's probably for the future.
“Our time here now is a little more business rather than pleasure,” said Mejia, the Pac 12 Conference Player of the Year.
Keep gave the book on the players in an interview at TD Ameritrade Park before Friday's first game of the series, UCLA vs. Stony Brook.
Keep said Brown was “the consummate professional,” taking the same approach to practice and games while playing catcher, third, first or outfield.
|SPECIAL SECTION: COLLEGE WORLD SERIES|
|Pick up Friday's editions of The World-Herald to get a 24-page section covering the 2012 College World Series. The special section will be available to purchase all weekend.Click here to find a newspaper near you.|
“He was very serious, had that professional attitude, mentality even as a high school kid,” Keep said.
Mason was “a jokester, a lot of fun to be around,” the kind of ballplayer who'd put his batting helmet on backward, but became all serious when he stepped between the stripes, Keep said.
“A smile on his face. Glad to be at the ballpark. Super strong arm, fast as can be. He led off for us, and could hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
Mejia was the team leader.
“He was our shortstop, and the attitude of our team went through him,” Keep said. “He had just won the L.A. city title at El Camino High School. He was signed, sealed and delivered to play at Arizona.”
When Mejia was loose, the Orioles were on a roll. When things were tight, Mejia knew the right thing to say.
“Constantly positive guy,” Keep said.
Mejia said something similar about Keep's approach to living without one of his legs.
“It doesn't seem to hold him back,” Mejia said.
Keep, who had played college baseball and then became a high school coach, lost most of his left leg in an accident when he was hit by a car in 2001. It happened outside a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Culver City, Calif., Keep said.
“My brother was borrowing my car,” he said. “Nice day, Aug. 11, I was just sitting outside.”
A car came accelerating toward Keep. He tried to jump over the front of it, but didn't make it.
“I didn't realize how much I was bleeding,” he said. “A nice gentleman ran over and tied a belt around my leg like a tourniquet to slow down the bleeding. I'm a very fortunate guy.”
He lost all but the top 10 inches of his leg. Eleven surgeries and five prostheses later, Keep's hiked around TD Ameritrade Park and downtown Omaha with sunflower seeds.
Keep made the sunflower seeds a dugout tradition, supplying different flavors. Brown's not a big seeds guy. Mason took to cracked pepper. Mejia prefers chili lime. Keep and Connor took him a bag at the Arizona team's hotel before the series, and spent about a half-hour catching up.
Mejia said he was grateful for the visit, the seeds and that Keep remembers about the chili lime.
“It shows that he keeps us in mind,” Mejia said.
Keep, though only 44, recently retired from his baseball coaching career after 20 years with high school teams. He wanted to focus on coaching his son, Connor, and spending more time with family.
Like a lot of moms and dads and boys and girls who love baseball or just each other, Bill and Connor Keep are having quality family time at TD Ameritrade.
“The feeling of being able to sit at a field and talk to him about the plays, about why things are done, and explain baseball to him, it's just one of the best feelings you can have,” Keep said.
Contact the writer: