As life has been kicking my tail up and down as of late (thanks work and grad school), I'll leave the statistical comparisons and intel stuff to Goon. However, as someone who lives in Omaha and is attending this weekend's festivities, I wanted to share with all of you my expectations and some recommendations.
First, Omaha. Omaha is a nice town with good people. Downtown is a cool area. The Old Market is fun to walk in good weather. Food is excellent. I don't eat down there a lot, since I live about as far away from Downtown Omaha as one can get and still be in the Metro area (it seems anyways). But here's a few recommendations: First, sushi. Blue is a great stop for sushi. Enjoy classic pub cuisine with new age flair? How about M's Pub? I love this place. The spinach salad with the hot bacon dressing is incredible and that's just the opener! Prices are decent.
If you are into salads but the rest of you prefer soups or pizza or even hot sandwiches, then Ingredient is the place to go. They have an ingredient menu the size of a small van for their salads and their portion sizes are excellent. It's a bit steep if you are going just for a salad but the taste is fantastic.
There's a ton more. I'm sure some readers here would add in even more and I encourage any who have partaken downtown cuisine to jump in.
If you are looking for something to do Saturday Morning (or early afternoon if you aren't going to the Lancers vs. Stars USHL game), going to the Durham Museum is a must see. It's nicely located near or just adjacent to the Old Market and it's pretty decently priced. You can also go to the zoo. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo is the best zoo in the world as far as I'm concerned. I think it's ranked #1 or #2 among Zoos in the US.
The forecast is calling for 30s to 40s and a good chance of rain and snow. So pack accordingly.
Friday Night's Game:
This will be a typical affair being that it is in the CenturyLink (formerly the Qwest) Center. If you are feeling generous, my coworker's brother owns a parking lot right across the street (literally) from the front entrance. It is on 9th and Capitol. Cost to park is $8 or so. Most expensive I've ever seen it is $10.
Honestly, if UND wasn't playing, I wouldn't go. I dislike outdoor games. Goon is right to think that he'll get a better look at the game watching it on TV. The worst aspect of the game is that there is no such thing as a good seat in the house. I've been to TD Ameritrade many times for football and it's the same deal. You are far away. The difference with hockey is that if you want elevation to look down at the ice you are going to get even further away. Following the puck live will be tricky. It is, however, a very nice facility with above average plastic seating (not good for bad backs but not the worst) and the typical horribly overpriced but decent food.
I also expect for the conditions to be less than perfect. You can tell me about how technically sound the outdoor rink structures are but in the end, hockey isn't meant to be played on a surface like a baseball field/football field like TD Ameritrade Park. I expect the puck to bounce all over the place right away in the game. I also expect a lot of falling players due to catching edges and ice imperfections.
As a fan, I also expect to be buried among people who are there for the event rather than any semblance of caring for the game. Omaha is very much an event town. Nevertheless, I'll go and see the boys fight hard.
I'm hoping for 3 points but a split isn't out of the question. I also believe that the outdoor game will be VERY sloppy.