Champions revisited: How the game has changed

06/08/2014 8:46 AM

06/08/2014 8:46 AM

•  In 1989, a crowd of 13,701 filled Rosenblatt Stadium to watch the championship game and 338,015 watched the entire tournament. By 1993, stadium expansion and the growth of popularity led to championship crowds of 20,000-plus and total attendance of more than 400,000. In 1999, 23,563 fans watched the final. In 2009, a total of 721,861 people watched. The CWS moved to TD Ameritrade Park in 2011, attracting a crowd of 26,721 for South Carolina’s win over Florida in the championship game. The 2013 CWS drew a record 790,207 fans.
•  WSU averaged 916 fans a game at Eck Stadium in 1989, with a total of 39,403 and a high of 5,551 against Oklahoma State. In 1990, helped by hosting its first regional, WSU averaged 1,834 fans and totaled 69,698. The big jump came in 1992, when WSU averaged 3,439 (all games) and totaled 117,728 for the regular season. MVC and NCAA play boosted that total to 165,065 with a high of 8,103 for a regional victory over Oklahoma State on May 25. That stood as Eck Stadium’s record until crowd of 8,153 packed Eck for the 2007 super regional games against Cal-Irvine.
•  Georgia won the CWS in 1990, signaling the SEC’s rise to prominence with the first of the conference’s nine titles. LSU is responsible for six titles, defeating WSU in 1991 and 1993.
•  Southern Cal defeated Arizona State 21-14 in 1998, a CWS record for scoring in the title game.
•  In 1999, the regional field expanded from 48 to 64 teams with 16 four-team regionals. Winners advanced to best-of-three super regionals before eight teams advanced on Omaha.
•  In 2003, the CWS adopted a best-of-three format to decide the champion.
•  Rosenblatt, the event’s home since 1950, hosted its final CWS in 2010. It was demolished in 2012 to make room for parking at Henry Doorly Zoo. A memorial display preserves signs and foul poles from the stadium.
•  The NCAA mandated BBCOR bats for the 2011 season, a move made for safety reasons and to reduce scoring.

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