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  • James Hilchen

Werner Park – Omaha Storm Chasers


Photos by James Hilchen and Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

Werner Park 12356 Ballpark Way Papillion, NE 68046

Year Opened: 2011 Capacity: 9,023

 

Good Times in Omaha

Opened on April 11, 2011, Werner Park is home to the Omaha Storm Chasers, a Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. At an initial cost of $36 million, the ballpark replaced Rosenblatt Stadium as the home of the then-Omaha Royals. With a capacity of 9,023, it offers plenty of seating for fans to enjoy a game.

The ballpark is located in unincorporated Sarpy County, southeast of Omaha. In 2015, Werner Park hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game. Slight renovations have occurred since its opening, largely to host other sports. Among the renovations are a retractable pitching mound and a new building in left field to house equipment and staff.

The NCAA Omaha Mavericks played some of their home games at Werner Park and its most recent addition is that of Union Omaha, a member of the United Soccer League, League 1.


Food & Beverage 3

The ballpark is only accepting card payments and no cash.


Concession stands run throughout the open concourse with plenty of different food options for all tastes. The basics are covered quite well. Among the highlights are some great BBQ (behind first base). I’d recommend the pulled pork sandwich, but there are a few options to choose from, including brisket.


Hot Dog Nation sits behind home plate and serves up numerous types of hot dogs. In the left field corner, you can pick up some Valentino’s Pizza, which is a local staple. Behind third base is the Papillion taco guy. Chicken, pork, or brisket tacos are all available and all great. The entrees at all the stands will cost from about $8-14, with snacks being $3-$5.


Pepsi products are the soda choice with prices ranging from $3-$6 depending on size. Water, Gatorade, and hot chocolate are also available.


A good assortment of local craft brews along with your typical domestics is readily available throughout the park. 25 oz cans of Bud and Busch Light run $11, with 12 oz cans being $6. For local flavor, give the Ale Storm beer a try.


Atmosphere 4

There is a lot to like around Werner Park. Wide concourses and an open look greet you when walking through the gates. Concessions and restrooms largely run from foul pole to foul pole. The Storm Front, the team store, sits behind home plate and carries both Storm Chasers gear along with Union Omaha items.


Despite the recent proclivity of teams to extend netting, Werner Park’s netting runs from dugout to dugout, so pay attention when sitting in the outfield areas.


The Centris Family Fun Zone sits in the left-field corner. There is a litany of different things for kids to do and the cost is $6 per child.


Grass berm seating encompasses a large amount of the outfield with the only break being in center field. In addition to the batter’s eye, the bullpens sit above the center field wall. A neat aspect of the ballpark allows you to walk all the way around and have a great view of the field from anywhere.


A couple of final features worth noting sit behind the outfield walkway in the center field. There is a half-court basketball court along with a whiffle ball field for those who want to take a few innings away from the game. Also, directly behind the bullpens and batter’s eye in the Autism Action Quiet Zone. Folks who need a break from the noise and bustle of the game can go there and the noise and distractions are very minimal.


One final and important note for all you taller fans out there. The writer of this review is 6’4” and my brother is 6’5”. We had no issue with legroom and could move our knees back and forth freely without banging them into the seats in the next row. What a welcome surprise!


Neighborhood 2

The area around the ballpark has changed a bit since Werner Park was built. Most of the recent development has been residential, which doesn’t leave much in the way of bars and restaurants to relax before or after the game.

About a mile away, Phoenix Food and Spirits serves up more than typical bar food and is a really good choice for both food and drinks. The other options are all upwards of 3-4 miles east, with numerous sit-down and fast food options, including Runza, a Nebraska staple, in that area.

It’s also worth noting that Omaha boasts Charles Schwab Field, which hosts the College World Series annually along with Creighton Bluejays baseball. So, if you plan on attending a Storm Chasers game in June, check the schedule, you may be able to take in this fantastic event as well.

Fans 3

Like much of minor league baseball, Omaha has the traditional mix of hardcore fans and those out for more of a social experience. The majority of fans were into the game and having a good time.


Access 4

The ballpark sits off Highway 370, east of I-80.

There is plenty of parking close to the stadium. Once inside, wide concourses are evident and welcome. Restrooms are spaced very well around the ballpark as are concessions. As with most ballparks, there is a clear bag policy here.

Return on Investment 4

The cheapest tickets are berm seating along with the Sunbelt Bakery Home Run Porch, which runs for $10 and $11 respectively. The baseline box seats (outfield reserved) are $16, while the priority boxes (infield reserved) are $20. Club seating (behind home plate) is $25. Parking is $5. With what is a standard concession cost range, you get a good value when taking in a game at Werner Park.

Extras 5

An extra point for the great statue of Omaha native and Hall of Famer, Bob Gibson. Gibson’s statue greets you as you walk in the entrance gate behind home plate.


Wide concourses get an extra point. Getting caught in a walking traffic jam is never any fun. Even on nights with big crowds, that isn’t likely here.

Along the sections on the first base, side isareRoyal” heroes displays. Former Royals are honored with their uniform displayed on one side and their achievements on the other.

Some unique landscaping is evident throughout the ballpark. It is very well done and makes the scenery off the field more pleasing.

A quiet zone for folks who need some time in a quiet area is often overlooked. This is a very welcome area for those with sensory issues.

I can't give a sixth point, but the legroom for taller fans is a very welcome and appreciated perk.


Final Thoughts

When baseball fans hear Omaha, they usually think College World Series, but don’t sleep on Werner Park and the Omaha Storm Chasers. The ballpark has a lot to offer. From some great food and drink to a relaxed and fun baseball atmosphere, Werner Park is definitely worth a look.

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Follow my sports journeys on Twitter and Instagram: @stadiumjwriter

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