Traffic for downtown businesses during the College World Series was mostly better than last year and even comparable to the days when the event was held at Rosenblatt Stadium.
And the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials were again successful for the area.
Those were the takeaways from an unscientific survey conducted by the Omaha Downtown Improvement District Association earlier this month.
The survey asked 11 questions of more than 120 downtown businesses about how they fared during the CWS and Swim Trials, said Joe Gudenrath, executive director of the Downtown Improvement District.
The association heard back from 40 businesses, 38 of them in the Old Market.
Twenty-eight of the 36 businesses that answered the question said the CWS treated them the same or better than last year, the first time the event was held downtown at TD Ameritrade Park.
This year's game times — many at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. as opposed to the regular 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. start times — benefited downtown, Gudenrath said.
“Things seem to be heading in the right direction,” he said.
Compared to when the CWS was at Rosenblatt, about 47 percent of businesses said business was the same or better.
Those numbers are reflective of what happened at Upstream Brewing Company in the Old Market, said Peter Kolb, director of operations.
The restaurant saw a boost in sales of about 10 to 15 percent during this year's CWS compared to 2011, he said.
Some minor lowland flooding and false reports of a flooded downtown may have kept some people away in 2011. No danger of flooding this year likely helped, Kolb said, as well as people getting used to the event's downtown home.
Still, Kolb said, Upstream had more customers when the event was at Rosenblatt, partly because baseball fans had fewer options around the old stadium than exist around the new park.
For the Swim Trials, which overlapped with the CWS for a day last month, business was the same or better than during the CWS, reported 34 of the 36 businesses that answered the question.
The lack of vendor tents outside the CenturyLink Center Omaha helped the Old Market area, Kolb said, as well as the times the meets concluded, around 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“It provided us with a large amount of business during a time when we're normally not as busy,” he said.
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