Sports in Omaha, Nebraska

Sports in Omaha, Nebraska

Sports in Omaha, Nebraska are supported by a high attendance at events and tax support from the City of Omaha. Omaha is home to several professional sports teams and modern sports venues. The city has hosted a number of important sporting events. Since 1950 Omaha has hosted the baseball College World Series, and since 1996 it has been home to the Cox Classic golf tournament on the Nationwide Tour.

Former sports clubs in Omaha include the USL Premier Development League's Flames soccer team; the American Association's Omaha Dodgers, and; two professional hockey teams, the Omaha Knights and the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.


Omaha's Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium is home to the Omaha Royals. Since 1950, it has hosted the annual NCAA College World Series men's baseball tournament in mid-June [cite web |url= |title=This player at CWS knows all the scores |last=Bohls |first=Kirk |publisher=Cox News Service |date=2004-06-22 |accessdate=2006-06-19] . Other sports facilities in Omaha include Morrison Stadium, home of the Creighton Bluejays men's and women's soccer teams.

Recently the Omaha Royals have proposed building a $54 million stadium as part of a $170 million redevelopment of the Near North Side close to Omaha's Qwest Center and Creighton University. [(2006) [ A tale of two cities] . At the Yard website. Retrieved 5/29/07.]

Morrison Stadium is a 6,000-seat soccer-specific stadium located at 2500 California Plaza in the Near North Side neighborhood. The stadium is home to the Creighton Bluejays men's and women's soccer teams.

The Omaha Civic Auditorium arena currently seats up to 9,300 people for sporting events. In the past, the arena was home to the Creighton Bluejays men's basketball team, the University of Nebraska at Omaha ice hockey team, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights American Hockey League team, and the NBA's Kansas City/Omaha Kings basketball team. Today, it is home to the Omaha Beef indoor football team and the Creighton women's basketball and volleyball teams. The arena was the site of the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament title game in 1978 and 1981. It was also the site of the seventh WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1996.

Today the Qwest Center in downtown Omaha hosts Creighton men's basketball; the University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks ice hockey team, and; the Nebraska School Activities Association Nebraska State Wrestling Tournament annually. In 2008 the Qwest Center will host the First and Second Rounds of the NCAA Tournament, WWE Judgment Day 2008 and the USA Swimming Summer Olympic Trials.


Several sports have heritage in Omaha. The American Taekwondo Association was founded by Haeng Ung Lee in Omaha in 1969. [ [ "About"] , American Taekwondo Association. Retrieved 10/08/07.] Houston Alexander is a rising fighter in the sport of mixed martial arts who is from Omaha. In 1972 the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball Association moved to a new primary home in Kansas City and a secondary home in Omaha, carrying the name Kansas City-Omaha Kings. The team ceased Omaha operations in 1975 and became known as just the Kansas City Kings.Alois P. Swoboda, the pioneer American physical culture at the turn of the 20th century. His revolutionary course "Conscious Evolution" inspired many American leaders in the fields of government, business, entertainment, law, athletics and medicine.


The Omaha Beef indoor football team plays at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.


An early team in Omaha was the Luxus, who played with support from the Krug Brewery, and in 1915 played for the Amateur World Championship.

The Omaha Omahogs was a baseball team started in 1900 as part of the new Western League. Their name changed to the Omaha Indians in 1902. In 1904 the team was fielded as the Omaha Packers, and in 1906 as the Omaha Rourkes. They kept that name until 1921, when the name changed to the Omaha Buffaloes, which stuck until 1928 when it changed to the Omaha Crickets. In 1930 the team changed its name back to the Omaha Packers, and kept that name until 1935, when they moved to Council Bluffs and subsequently folded. A new team called the Omaha Robin Hoods formed in 1936, but moved to Rock Island, Illinois late in the year. The team reformed shortly thereafter as the Omaha Cardinals, remaining as such for several years.

In the 1940s, the African American players of the Omaha Rockets independent baseball team lived in North Omaha. The team played exhibition games against Negro League teams from across the U.S., and was the home of several important players. ["(n.d.) [ Mickey Stubblefield Profile] "] [(n.d.) [ Barnstorming & Tournament Ball] ]

The Omaha Royals are the city's current minor-league baseball team. They are the AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.


Ice hockey is a popular spectator sport in Omaha. The current Omaha-area team is the Omaha Lancers, a USHL team that plays at the Mid-America Center, which is actually located in Council Bluffs, Iowa. [(nd) [ Team History] . Omaha Lancers. Retrieved 6/7/07.]

The Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights were the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames. The Knights played their home games at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Following the 2006-2007 season the Knights were relocated to the Quad Cities due to mounting losses taken on by the Calgary organization, they were renamed the Quad City Flames and replace the Quad City Mallards of the United Hockey League. [ (2007) [ Flames announce relocation of American Hockey League franchise to the Quad Cities (Moline, IL)] . Calgary Flames Franchise website. Retrieved 6/7/07.]


Martin Burns operated a successful wrestling school in Omaha in the 1910s. [ [ "Martin 'Farmer' Burns".] International Wrestling Institute and Museum. Retrieved 10/9/07.] Joe Stecher, a wrestler from rural Nebraska, won national professional wrestling champion title in Omaha in 1915. The American Wrestling Association's Omaha version of their World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling championship sanctioned by promoters in and around the city from 1957 through 1964.

Today, Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon, an early wrestling great, lives in Omaha. Other wrestling figures, including Tony Osborne, Ted DiBiase, Paul "The Rapmaster" Neu, Sting and Baron Von Raschke are originally from Omaha. The city is also notorious within the wrestling world for other reasons, including Chris Masters' 2005 claim that, "anywhere is better than Omaha, Nebraska," offering of $6000 for a plane ticket to anywhere else in the United States.

Omaha also hosted the WWE Judgment Day Pay-Per-View Event on May 18, 2008, which was held at the Qwest Center Omaha.

College Sports

Creighton University

The Creighton Bluejays compete in a number of NCAA Division I sports. Creighton's is also a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The men's basketball team plays their home games at the Qwest Center Omaha, while the women's basketball and volleyball teams play at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Their men's and women's soccer teams play their home games at Morrison Stadium.

The most popular team of the Creighton University athletic department is their men's basketball program. They have amassed 10 consecutive postseason appearances, including seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament during that stretch. Overall, Creighton has 16 NCAA Tournament appearances.

During the 2006-2007 season, Creighton ranked 13th in all of NCAA Division-I basketball in average home game attedance, averaging 15,909 per game.

University of Nebraska at Omaha

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks is an NCAA Division II athletic department. They compete at the Division II level for all sports, with the exception of men's ice hockey, which competes in Division-I as a member of the CCHA.

Notable athletes

Omaha is home to numerous important historical and modern sports figures. They include:
* Houston Alexander, UFC ligh heavyweight contender
* Max Baer, boxer
* Bob Boozer, former National Basketball Association player and gold medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics.
* Carmen Butler, current Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader
* Lance Cade, professional wrestler
* Steve Borden, professional wrestler aka Sting
* Jason Christiansen, professional baseball player
* Eric Crouch, 2001 Heisman Trophy winner for University of Nebraska
* Brian Deegan, FMX Rider
* Ted DiBiase, Professional Wrestler
* Bob Gibson, National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher for St. Louis Cardinals
* Ahman Green, professional football player
* Kenton Keith, professional football player
* Nile Kinnick, 1939 Heisman Trophy winner for the University of Iowa
* Jason Kreis, professional soccer player, all-time leading scorer in MLS history, current manager of the MLS club, Real Salt Lake
* Scott Munter, relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants
* Dave Nelson, Professional Skateboarder
* Gregg Olson, professional baseball player, 1989 American League Rookie of the Year
* Jed Ortmeyer, professional ice hockey player
* Ron Prince, head football coach at Kansas State University
* Andy Roddick, professional tennis player
* Johnny Rodgers, 1972 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame; Inductee and voted University of Nebraska's "player of the century".
* Gale Sayers, professional football player, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
* Scott Sutton, Oral Roberts University men's basketball coach

ee also

* Sports in Nebraska
* Parks in Omaha, Nebraska


External links

* [ Omaha Marathon official website]
* [ Ak-Sar-Ben Race Track History Website]

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