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(March 12, 2020)

For the first time in 71 years, the College World Series will not be played in Omaha.  It won’t be played at all.

The NCAA cancelled the College World Series today, and all other winter and spring  championships.

“The NCAA must feel this is the best decision it could make for the student athletes and their families,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “The impact of COVID-19 is going to hurt, but it’s going to hurt every city.”

In a statement Thursday afternoon, the NCAA announced both the College World Series and the basketball championship tournament will be cancelled, “President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”

Both cancellations will affect Omaha.  Omaha would have hosted the first and second rounds of the basketball tournament on March 20 and 22 at the CHI Health Center.

“It’s a significant blow to Omaha’s economy,” said Mayor Stothert. “The revenue we will lose is not the most important thing, public health and safety is most important.”

Estimates show the College World Series has an economic impact of approximately $70 million to the city’s economy.

“There is a human side of all these cancellations. We have to consider the financial impact on the city, but also the individuals that will be affected,” said Mayor Stothert.

Mayor Stothert said there is still hope the Olympic Swim Trials will proceed as planned this summer.