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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
WernerPark.PNG
Werner Park scoreboard.jpg
Werner Park scoreboard in 2011
Location12356 Ballpark Way
Papillion, Nebraska
(Highway 370 & 126th St.)
Coordinates41°09′04″N 96°06′25″W / 41.151°N 96.107°W / 41.151; -96.107Coordinates: 41°09′04″N 96°06′25″W / 41.151°N 96.107°W / 41.151; -96.107
OwnerSarpy County
OperatorOmaha Storm Chasers
Capacity9,023 total;
6,434 permanent seats,
15 private suites,
and grass berm seating
Field sizeLF – 310 feet (94 m)
CF – 402 feet (123 m)
RF – 315 feet (96 m)
SurfaceNatural grass
Construction
Broke groundAugust 12, 2009
OpenedApril 11, 2011
Construction cost$36 million
($40.1 million in 2018[1])
ArchitectDLR Group
General contractorThe Weitz Company
Tenants
Omaha Storm Chasers (PCL) (2011−present)
Omaha Mavericks (NCAA) (2013−present)
Omaha USL team (USL1) (2020−future)
Werner Park is located in the United States
Werner Park
Werner Park
Location in the United States

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.[2] Since 2013, the Omaha Mavericks have used the venue for some home college baseball games.[3]

Contents

HistoryEdit

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,[4] 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.[5]

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.[6][7]

 
A pitch clock at Werner Park in 2015

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.[8] 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.[9]

The field is aligned northeast (home plate to center field) at an approximate elevation of 1,150 feet (350 m) above sea level; Rosenblatt Stadium had a similar alignment and elevation.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ "ROYALS' NEW BALLPARK: Sarpy's funding plan is complex". Omaha World Herald. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Sarpy County Stadium Groundbreaking Scheduled". OurSportsCentral.com. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  5. ^ "Werner Enterprises Granted Naming Rights for New Ballpark". ORoyals.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  6. ^ http://www.omaha.com/sports/bob-gibson-statue-unveiled-at-werner-park/article_f1bd6dbf-2963-547d-b7ea-f7b247fa7ad5.html
  7. ^ http://ballparkdigest.com/201304156199/minor-league-baseball/features/bob-gibson-statue-unveiled-at-werner-park
  8. ^ "Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby Winners". 2017 Pacific Coast League Sketch & Record Book. Pacific Coast League. 2017. p. 162.
  9. ^ "Triple-A All-Star Game Results (2013–2017)". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved July 7, 2017.

External linksEdit