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Werner Park

Papillion, NE

Home of the Omaha Storm Chasers

4.3

N/A

Werner Park (map it)
12356 Ballpark Way
Papillion, NE 68046


Omaha Storm Chasers website

Werner Park website

Year Opened: 2011

Capacity: 9,023

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Werner Park, Home of the Storm Chasers

Werner Park is one of the most unique baseball ballparks in the country. It looks nothing like a traditional minor league ballpark. When fans walk in they immediately see the field. It is open with much of it in direct sunlight and the Storm Chasers have taken the "family experience" to a new level with tons of activities and games for all fans.

Werner Park was designed to be a ballpark, not a stadium. It does not have any upper deck general seating. It is more of a "pit-design," where the fans enter the ballpark and the seats are all in-the-ground below the concourse.

It really does not look like a typical ballpark where fans walk up to a big structure, with seating sections stacked up above the field. It looks like a series of buildings over-looking a baseball field and it was a really neat concept for a baseball ballpark.

4.3

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

They have everything you would expect at a ballpark. They also have Omaha Steaks, soft-serve ice cream featuring Roberts Dairy Milk, La Mesa Mexican food, Extreme Pizza and a booth called Hot Dog Nation where fans can get a variety of hot dogs.

Hot dogs: $3.75 A big and very good dog (Hebrew National) with a nice blend of spices and a warm, but slightly hard bun. Rating: A

Large pop corn: $5.00 Slightly warm, but salty with a good corn taste. Rating: A-

Nachos w/ cheese: $4.75 Great chips that were whole, not broken and good cheese. Rating: B+

Pepsi: 32 oz plastic cup $4.00.

Atmosphere    5

All general seating is below the main concourse. There are some private boxes and group seating areas that rise above the concourse, but that is it. The concourse circles the ball field. Behind leftfield is the AT&T Home Run Porch where fans can see the action from bleachers with chair-backs. Next to that, in left-center, right-center and rightfield is the McDonalds Seating Berm where fans can bring a blanket and sit on the grass.

Now fans might have to pick a few grass jiggers out of their pants, but they can also stretch out and take a little nap too. Try doing that at Wrigley Field.

The most unique seating area is down the left-field line in foul territory. It is a fan dugout down the leftfield line that seats up to 18 people and can be rented by groups.

There is a lot going on at Werner Park besides baseball. There is the Borsheims Diamond, where kids can play wiffle ball. There is Storm Chasers staff to help keep the games organized and as a nod to our sue-happy society, they make the participants wear a batting helmet while batting in the wiffle ball area.

Next to that is a basketball court which somehow did not have a sponsor's name attached to it. There is the Centris Family Fun Zone, which is a huge play area for kids and yes, there is a merry-go-round. There is also the Left Field Picnic Area, the HyVee Pavilion and two party decks that can be rented by groups.

The most unique sponsor tie-in is a one-seat row that is sponsored by DateOmaha.com. On Thirsty Thursday (dollar beers) they put a single man or woman in the seat and interview the single person, which is broadcast on the score board. Anyone that is interested in that person (hopefully single) can text a message to the single person's e-mail.

When I was a kid in Cincinnati, if the Reds had this type of entertainment at Riverfront Stadium, I probably would have missed every great moment I ever witnessed sitting next to my dad. With today's short-attention span kids, the attractions at Werner Park seem to work well for both kids and parents.

Every seat is a nice and wide 21 inches with a cup-holder and a great view of the field. There are also plenty of places to stand and watch the action. The concourse circles the field and it is about 1/3 of a mile around the concourse. It is worth it to take a little stroll around the ballpark to check out the baseball game from various angles and to see all the attractions.

Neighborhood    2

There is nothing in the immediate neighborhood yet. Well there are soy bean fields on two sides and you can see some housing developments in the distance that are still being built. In the near future, there will be a 300 acre development called Pennant Place which will feature retail shops, restaurants, offices and two hotels, but until that happens fans will have to drive east about five miles on highway 370 to Shadow Lake Shopping Center. There they will find a large variety of food, drink and shopping.

Fans    4

These fans at Werner Park are certainly not rowdy fans. That is not really the Nebraska lifestyle, but they seem to be content fans. The Storm Chaser fans seem to have a really good time. I would even say they seem to be having more fun than most fans I see at MLB ballparks.

They have attractive college girls helping run their on-field promotions and as an added bonus once or twice a game they hop up on the dugout and "shake it" for the appreciative fans.

The Storm Chaser fans made noise at all the right times and after home runs, fire shoots up in the air from two smoke-stack type cylinders out along the center field concourse, which makes for some interesting reactions from unsuspecting fans.

Of course, there are plenty of fun promotions staged between innings that will entertain any baseball fan.

This particular night there were 8,871 fans in attendance for a Friday night game. They also awarded a startled fan a $2000 package of cool stuff for being the 12 millionth fan to attend a AAA baseball game in Omaha. This was also Friday Night Fireworks and probably over two-thirds of the fans stayed to watch the 20 minute show.

Access    5

Werner Park is located in the suburbs, surrounded by almost nothing. It is easy to get to. It is on Highway 370, about five miles from Interstate 80. There is free parking, $2 parking and $5 parking depending on how much you want to walk. The furthest lot is less than a quarter mile away. There are also a few porta-potties out in the far reaches of the parking lot for fans that get a sudden urge from nature.

Return on Investment    5

Tickets on weekdays run from $6 on the berm to $15.50. On weekends the berm seats are still $6 and all other tickets are an additional dollar. They have other discounts for children. Food prices are no bargain until you compare them to other minor league parks and then they do not seem so steep.

Attending a Storm Chasers game can cost as little as $6 for an adult. Even if you eat something, this is still a very good value.

Extras    5

I will award a star for being a good value, another two stars for being such a unique ballpark. They get a star for being such an entertaining venue and a final star for being a comfortable ballpark.

Final Thoughts

Omaha is a great baseball town and this is a low-hassle, low-cost fan experience at a very unique ballpark. Put it on your baseball road trip tour, you will have a great time.


*Pictures courtesy of the Omaha Storm Chasers.

"If you build it, they will come"

A very nice article, about a truly extraordinary baseball stadium, the kind of ballpark that is actually â??family friendlyâ??, and more importantly perhaps, can serve as a model to reassure any doubters that â??America's Pastimeâ?? can remain such, well into the foreseeable future.

Its unique concept, design and execution is a work of genius, but not many people in Omaha perhaps know the genius behind the new Werner Stadium, a man named Alan Stein. Alan, a native son and successful businessman from Lexington, KY grew up loving baseball, and he had a dream; . . . a dream that every kid in Lexington and the surrounding â??Bluegrassâ?? region could grow up experiencing baseball the way he knew it as a kid â?? simple, fun, exciting, and a â??family friendlyâ?? game.

Alas, however, Lexington had no municipal baseball stadium, and when Alan took his dream to the city fathers at that time, they didn't think much of his idea, in fact they were no help at all; but Alan wasn't deterred. He then shared his dream with a group of friendly â??believers with bucksâ??, and together they created with private financing, not only what could be called the prototype of Werner Stadium, but snared a AAA ball team in the process!

Today the Lexington Legends are . . . well legendary, and the stadium is a roaring success. But Alan's dream wasn't over. If you could build such a stadium in Lexington, and â??they would comeâ??, why not in many other small and medium sized cities across America? In short order Alan's dream and success, drew the attention of a truly legendary â??believer with bucksâ??, the truly legendary Warren Buffett, and as they say, â??the rest is historyâ??!

by LegendaryStuff | Aug 18, 2011 08:12 AM

Other tidbits

When I first arrived in the afternoon on an early August, 2011 weekend, a sign outside the ticket booth said only berm seating was available. They did have a single seat available and thanks to the individual at the ticket booth for getting me a good seat. Recommendation - if you are not going solo, order tickets in advance.

I did experience two pretty nasty rain and wind storm delays at the game I attended. It was scary. I hung out in the ladies room (which seemed to be a safe retreat in case of a tornado)
while the storm passed.

If you're one to listen to the game on the radio while watching it, the Storm Chasers have a fantastic broadcaster 1180AM.

If you're going to the game, do stop at the Nebraska Brewing Company and have yourself a local beverage â?? I recommend Hop God (best IPA I've ever had). It is located in the Shadow Lake Shopping Center mentioned in the review.

I do recommend attending a game here.

by megminard | Dec 06, 2011 10:59 PM

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Local Food & Drink

Nebraska Brewing Company  (map it!)

7474 Towne Center Pkwy

Papillion, NE 68046

(402) 934-7100

http://www.nebraskabrewingco.com/main.asp

Local Entertainment

Shadow Lake Shopping Center  (map it!)

7775 Olson Dr

Papillion, NE 68046

(402) 537-0046

http://www.shadowlakeshopping.com/

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