(OMAHA, Neb., June 12, 2013) – ESPN baseball analyst and former Bowling Green State University and L.A. Dodgers great Orel Hershiser, an O.A.R. concert and a special tribute to Dennis Poppe, NCAA lead administrator for the 2013 NCAA® Men’s College World Series®,  will set the stage for Opening Ceremonies on Friday, June 14, at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

The Road to Omaha Jam featuring O.A.R. will begin at 6 p.m. Central Time in Lot B, south of the stadium. O.A.R., a national touring group that has provided music for ESPN’s coverage of the College World Series, is scheduled to take the stage at 7:15 p.m.

Opening Ceremonies start at 8:30 p.m. The Opening Ceremonies will conclude a full day of free activities with team practices and autograph sessions at the CWS Fan Fest presented by Capital One. Fan Fest activities begin outside the stadium at 10 a.m.

Parking is available on the TD Ameritrade Park Omaha/Century Link Center campus in Lots A, E and G, at Creighton University or at city owned lots in the downtown Omaha area. Metro’s popular circulator routes also will be available. Visit NCAA.com/CWS for more information.

Hershiser, the Opening Ceremonies featured speaker, still holds the Major League Baseball record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched (59) with the 1988 Dodgers. The 1988 World Series MVP also won the Cy Young, Babe Ruth and Gold Glove awards that season.

“Hershiser is a staple in Omaha as an ESPN baseball analyst,” said Damani Leech, NCAA director of championships and alliances. “He adds such great insight to the Men’s College World Series because of his baseball analyst experience ranging from Little League to Major League Baseball.”

Opening Ceremonies will feature an Olympic-style grand entrance and introduction of the team, including video highlights of each team’s season on the big screen. John Cernech, vice president of student life at Creighton University, will present NCAA academic awards to each team’s student-athletes earning academic honors, including the Elite 89 award – presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the College World Series.  

June 14 is “Dennis Poppe Day” by proclamation of Governor Dave Heineman of Nebraska. Poppe, who is retiring from the NCAA in January, will be honored for his four decades of work with student-athletes. As Vice President of Championships and Alliances, Poppe is the lead administrator for the Men’s College World Series and was instrumental in helping grow the College World Series to its present-day stature, as well as keeping the baseball championship in Omaha through 2036.  

A Flag Day celebration will feature patriotic music by the Lincoln Southeast High School Marching Knights and the Stepper-ettes will unfurl a large American flag in the shape of the United States. The first 20,000 fans entering Opening Ceremonies will receive a free miniature American flag to help celebrate the occasion. Activities will close with a spectacular fireworks finale.

The CWS Fan Fest presented by Capital One will feature free interactive games, contests and prizes sponsored by the NCAA Corporate Champions and Partners. Team autograph sessions presented by AT&T®, an NCAA Corporate Champion, will be held one-half hour after the completion of each team practice.

The team autograph sessions will start at 10:30 a.m. and continue to 6 p.m. To receive additional information on activities, parking and tickets visit NCAA.com/CWS or download the official 2013 CWS mobile app, hosted by Creighton University and College World Series of Omaha, Inc.

About the NCAA®
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes. The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions – AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola – and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners – Allstate, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buick, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Nabisco, Northwestern Mutual, Reese’s (Hershey’s), Unilever and UPS.

About CWS, Inc. ®
College World Series of Omaha, Inc., is the non-profit local organizing committee for the annual NCAA Division I Men's College World Series. Its mission is enlisting wide-based community support from business, government, civic organizations and individuals to implement, promote, operate and host a successful CWS in Omaha in partnership with the NCAA. The 2013 NCAA Men's College World Series will begin with Opening Celebration Day, Friday, June 14. Games will begin Saturday, June 15, and continue through Tuesday/Wednesday, June 25/26. For a complete schedule of all games and times, please visit NCAA.com/CWS.