Fans headed to the College World Series can pay upward of $20 to park near the TD Ameritrade Park in downtown Omaha. Or they can ride their bikes and park for free.
Bike to the Ballpark returned to the CWS for the second time this year. Community organizations Omaha Bikes and Activate Omaha created the free valet service to encourage people to ride to games rather than drive.
“It gives people options,” said Julie Harris of Activate Omaha. “If they don't want to pay for parking, if they don't want to fight the crowds, if they don't want to hassle trying to find a space, this is a great option for them.”
Starting an hour before the first pitch, riders can drop off their bikes with volunteers at the bike corral, located across from the stadium outside Greenstreet Cycles on 13th and Mike Fahey Streets. Volunteers will be present to watch over bikes during the games. Riders must claim their bike, using a ticket, within 30 minutes after the second game ends.
About a dozen people had parked their bikes at the corral 30 minutes before the first game on Friday, including Connor Magnuson of Omaha. “Any time a city can accommodate bikes it's a good thing,” he said of the program. “We need more of that kind of support.”
More than 700 people used the program last year. Organizers expect a similar turnout or more users this summer if “mother nature cooperates.”
“I'm sure (the rain) will affect it a little, but I'm not concerned,” Harris said. “We're here through thick and thin.”
Those who arrive downtown earlier than 3 p.m. can park their bikes at the corral, but volunteers are not responsible for them.
Contact the writer: