Thursday, June 28, 2012

7 Cities, 7 Games, 7 Days - Day 6

I'm in Omaha, Nebraska, and I just missed the College World Series by a couple of days.  Well, settling for a Triple-A game between the Omaha Storm Chasers and the New Orleans Zephyrs isn't a bad consolation prize.  The Zephyrs are affiliated to the rejuvenated Miami Marlins, but they were no match for the the Storm Chasers this night, whose parent club is the Kansas City Royals.  The wind was blowing out and I saw two homers from each club, but the Chasers prevailed 8 to 5 in the end at Werner Field.

Werner Field is not located in Omaha, but in a small town by the name of Papillion located on the outskirts of Omaha.  I was able tto park for free in the farther of the two main parking lots, but if you feel you must pay, then you can park closer.  Whatever.  After eight hours in the car earlier today I needed the exercise and chose the free option.

Here's your walk up to the ballpark photo.  Those cars, oh man, those poor cars.  Every time there was a foul ball that left the park along the third base side the announcer read an advertisement for a local windshield repair company!

Here's the Storm Chaser logo which was affixed to one of the main garage door entrances for delivery trucks.

On my way to the ticket booth I passed the windows for the "will call" tickets.  This is another example of a local business, a window and door company, getting in on an excellent advertising opportunity.   I give you "Window World's Will Call Window": 

I came to find out that the ballpark was only a year old.  I was really impressed by the architecture and the use of all the space.  Here's a shot of the air conditioned private suites, which I thought resembled upscale lofts.

Also in the above picture you'll see two dugout-like objects.  The further one is the actual third base dugout, but the one in the foreground is a dugout for fans to sit in.  Nice!

Here's a picture of the back of the suites and the Jim Beam Club.  Very posh indeed!

Below is the scoreboard.  Pretty typical until you walk out there and realize that underneath the "DownDraught" sign there is a bar with seating.  

To the right of the scoreboard, in dead center field, there's a basketball court and a wiffle ball field.  They have ballpark personnel overseeing everything to make sure nothing gets out of hand.

Here's a picture of the three mascots of the Storm Chasers (left to right: Casey, Stormy, and Vortex). I never did figure out what the umpires were pointing at.

The in between innings entertainment was pretty standard for a minor league game. Many contests took place and there were even TWO races!  The first one featured a steak, corn on the cob, and a beer.  The winner came away with a gift certificate to a local steak house.

The next raise was for free tacos from Taco Bell and featured mild, hot, and fire hot sauce packets.  The fire biffed, much like relish runner did when I was in Kansas City.  These contestants must be signing a waiver, because tripping and biffing while in costume seems like a pretty common thing.

Here's a contest where fans tried to throw softee-balls in through the sun roof of a truck.  At one point I think the fans were aiming for Casey and Stormy.  Good stuff!

When the game was over they had another fan, dressed as a "fat lady", sing to the crowd.  I was slow with the camera and the singer was too fast to remove the viking helmet with gold pigtails.

I think Werner Field now sits atop my favorite minor league ballparks.  The ballpark was about as state-of-the-art as a ballpark could get and the staff did a good job of keeping the fans into the game. The variety of food selections were almost equal to that of a MLB park.  Free parking and cheap ticket prices are also hard to beat!   Again though, the game time temperature was well into the 90's.  Seriously, what's July and August going to be like in the midwest?

I get to sleep in tomorrow and make a shorter drive to see the Iowa Cubs!  Woo-hoo!  Maybe THESE Cubs will even get me a win!


  1. Have a safe trip home. Love, Mom

  2. Vince (Jealous in Peoria)June 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Very cool trip. Safe travels