Werner Park is a minor league ballpark near Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb southwest of Omaha. Opened eight years ago in 2011, it is owned by Sarpy County and is the home of the Omaha Storm Chasers (formerly Royals) of the Pacific Coast League.
Werner Park scoreboard in 2011
|Location||12356 Ballpark Way|
(Highway 370 & 126th St.)
|Operator||Omaha Storm Chasers|
6,434 permanent seats,
15 private suites,
and grass berm seating
|Field size||LF – 310 feet (94 m)|
CF – 402 feet (123 m)
RF – 315 feet (96 m)
|Broke ground||August 12, 2009|
|Opened||April 11, 2011|
|Construction cost||$36 million|
($40.1 million in 2018)
|General contractor||The Weitz Company|
|Omaha Storm Chasers (PCL) (2011−present)|
Omaha Mavericks (NCAA) (2013−present)
Union Omaha (USL1) (from 2020)
The club moved from Rosenblatt Stadium in south Omaha (in Douglas County) into Werner Park on December 17, 2010. The ballpark cost $36 million to construct and is located near 126th Street and Highway 370, less than three miles (5 km) west of Papillion in unincorporated Sarpy County. Since 2013, the Omaha Mavericks have used the venue for some home college baseball games.
From 1969 through 2010, the Omaha Royals (Golden Spikes from 1999 to 2001) played at Rosenblatt Stadium. Every year, the Royals had to go on an extended two-week road trip in late May or early June for the NCAA's College World Series. The Royals were also hobbled by Rosenblatt's size; at 23,000 seats in its final configuration, it was far too large for a Triple-A team; it had 5,000 more seats than the next-largest stadium, Buffalo's Coca-Cola Field. In hopes of providing a more intimate setting, capacity was reduced to around 8,500 for Royals games.
When the city of Omaha announced plans to build a new ballpark in downtown Omaha for the CWS, TD Ameritrade Park, original plans called for it to be reduced to around 12,000 for Royals games. However, the Royals opted instead to build their own park elsewhere with a smaller seating capacity. The separate parks allow the Storm Chasers to play at home during the CWS.
Groundbreaking took place August 12, 2009, and on November 11, 2010, the Storm Chasers announced they had reached an agreement with Omaha-based transportation company and longtime sponsor Werner Enterprises for the ballpark's naming rights. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The stadium's first event was a rivalry high school game on April 11, 2011, between Papillion's two high schools, Papillion South and Papillion-LaVista; the South Titans won, 2–0, over the Monarchs. The Storm Chasers opened the ballpark five days later on April 16 with a 2–1 victory over the Nashville Sounds, as top prospect Eric Hosmer went 3-for-3 in the victory.
A statue of hometown pitching legend Bob Gibson was unveiled outside the park entrance in 2013.
In July 2015, the Storm Chasers hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, the first time the events had been held in Omaha. The Derby, which was won by the Norfolk Tides' Dariel Álvarez, was held on July 13. The All-Star Game was held two days later on July 15. The Storm Chasers were represented at the game by Cheslor Cuthbert, Louis Coleman, and John Lamb as well as trainer Dave Innicca and manager Brian Poldberg, who skippered the PCL team. The IL All-Stars defeated the PCL All-Stars, 4–3.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "ROYALS' NEW BALLPARK: Sarpy's funding plan is complex". Omaha World Herald. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- "Mavs to Play Seven Games at Werner Park". OMavs.com. Nebraska-Omaha Sports Information. 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Sarpy County Stadium Groundbreaking Scheduled". OurSportsCentral.com. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "Werner Enterprises Granted Naming Rights for New Ballpark". ORoyals.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby Winners". 2017 Pacific Coast League Sketch & Record Book. Pacific Coast League. 2017. p. 162.
- "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (2013–2017)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Werner Park.|
- Official website
- Omaha Storm Chasers: official site
- Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks baseball: official site