The College World Series drew a total of 347,740 fans this season, eclipsing the "old mark of 341,483 from last season," according to Evan Bland of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD. This year's event drew an average of 21,734 fans per game for 16 games. Last night's championship game, which saw Vanderbilt beat Virginia 3-2 for the school's first national title in a men's sport, drew 18,344 fans (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 6/26). The average game attendance was down from a record 24,392 set last year, but CWS of Omaha Inc. President Jack Diesing Jr. said that there was "no concern about the drop." He said last year's mark was an "anomaly." The AP's Eric Olson noted Mississippi State and LSU were among the eight teams at the '13 event, and they each "brought along strong fan followings." Diesing indicated that Mississippi State "had an estimated 5,000 fans migrate to Omaha just for the finals." The CWS has "averaged more than 20,000 fans" per game every year since '96 (AP, 6/25).
MISSING SOME TRADITIONAL TEAMS: In Omaha, Tom Shatel writes it was "great to see Ole Miss back" in the CWS for the first time since '72, as well as Cal-Irvine making its second-ever appearance at the event. The "newbies and little guys really add something to the stew." However, it is "amazing" how some traditionally strong teams like Miami, Florida State and USC have fallen. South Carolina "didn’t get out of its regional," nor did LSU. Defending champ UCLA "didn’t make the tourney." Shatel: "So much balance. Is that good for the CWS? Yes and no. Glad to see the fresh faces, sure. But it’s good to have star power, too" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 6/26).