Major League Baseball made a brilliant move placing the 2020 MLB Draft in Omaha on the eve of the College World Series.
The College World Series experience in Omaha will be getting even bigger.
According to a report by D1 Baseball’s Kendall Rogers, Major League Baseball is moving the 2020 MLB Draft from its traditional home of New Jersey to the home of the College World Series, Omaha, Nebraska.
That move is both long overdue and absolutely brilliant as it addresses the concerns about the timing of the draft in relation to the college baseball postseason while also placing it in a more exciting and desirable baseball setting.
Plus, the change also means more money for Omaha and the businesses within it and more positive national attention drawn to the CWS and the MLB Draft. It’s a move that should benefit Omaha, Major League Baseball, and NCAA Baseball.
Go ahead and score that as a win for Omaha.
While Omaha is far from being the biggest, most notable sports town in the country, it’s still a great place for hosting notable events and Major League Baseball is certainly already aware of that fact.
In 2019, prior to the CWS, MLB found plenty of success in Omaha as the town hosted a unique matchup between the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals.
It was the first time the city hosted a MLB game, but fans flocked from around the country to watch two meddling teams face each other. That meant the City of Omaha got a win as more money was to be made just before what is arguably its biggest tourism draw of the year. The city also got a golden opportunity to show off its charm to the entire country.
The 2020 MLB Draft should be able to replicate that sort of success in putting another big spotlight on Omaha and on the College World Series.
This is a win for MLB and the NCAA too
The move might also help establish a stronger connection between college baseball fans and the MLB Draft, an event that some have described as a distraction to the players involved in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
The timing of the draft, though still not totally ideal, is better than it was in 2019 when it began around the same time as the regional round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Placing the draft a few days before the College World Series allows for the possibility of players to attend the draft and enjoy the experience rather than hearing their name was called while they’re waiting for an at-bat.
Players will know with certainty that their team either has already been eliminated, and they can attend without any sort of guilt attached to being distracted, or their team will be in Omaha, and they can attend with the hope of being able to win a national title shortly after the draft.
Of course, getting positive publicity is beneficial for both of these entities.
MLB, often seen as an older, more stubborn league that is less willing to adapt than say the NBA or even the NFL, is clearly demonstrating that it does have the ability to change. The NCAA, often the focus of discussions surrounding scandals, always needs something to that makes it look good.
Just about everybody wins with this change and that’s pretty rare. Here’s to hoping that this move is a permanent one.