Baseball stadium (copy)

A rendering of the UNO baseball stadium that is set to be built near Baxter Arena.

The careful transformation of the former Aksarben property into suitable commercial, office and educational use stands as one of Omaha’s smartest developments. Aksarben Village is an attractive, multi-faceted amenity, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha has made sound choices in developing its Scott campus.

Now, UNO has announced its plans for a $22 million project to build baseball and softball facilities beside Baxter Arena, with construction completely privately funded. The project will build on the momentum from the arena’s success and help cement UNO’s progress as a Division I sports competitor.

Just as important, UNO will open the facilities to community use. The fields can be used for youth and other tournaments and events, and the baseball facility can be a practice field for teams in the College World Series.

Word of UNO’s plans came as all three of Nebraska’s eligible teams — Creighton, Nebraska and UNO — impressively made it to the Division I baseball playoffs. And the College World Series begins June 15.

UNO currently rents a variety of local facilities for its baseball program. With these new facilities, it will take on important duties including soliciting corporate sponsorships, charging admission and handling concessions, all with an eye to manage costs responsibly.

With this new project, UNO continues to fill out its southern campus in well-considered fashion. These facilities definitely have home run potential for UNO and Omaha as a whole.

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