When Werner Park opened in 2011, critics wondered if baseball fans would go to the games at the ballpark off 126th and Highway 370 in rural Papillion.
Tonight that area is thriving, lots of growth since it opened. As reporter Emily Szink explains, more is on the way..
In 2010 the final out was played at Rosenblatt. With a new name and stadium came skeptcism..Some questioned if Sarpy County could do baseball like south Omaha.. "For us it was more about, opening and showing and also being able to show what we were going to be able to continue to do in the community. not just Sarpy County but the entire metro"
But opening night five years ago quickly convinced a lot of fans that Triple A baseball in Omaha didn't die with Rosenblatt. "To see it now and the way it turned out is just fantastic i think it's great for everybody and great for the entire city "
2 point 2 million fans later..4 division titles..3 league championships..2 national titles and a World Series win for the Royals, Werner Park has done the Stormchasers and the city well."We moved closer to where families are and we are in a spot that is easy to get in and out of".
Martie Cordaro the GM of the Stormchasers remembers when his stadium was all by itself. Now it's a hot spot for development."You know two new schools within walking distance..also i think there are six developments total from Gretna to here along 370, so a lot of rooftop density but you're also seeing a lot of commercial development right along I-80" An elementary school, a park and hundreds of houses are are now next door neighbors to the ballpark. Dozens of acres are just waiting to be developed. But Sarpy County isn't just home to new development..
"17 of the opening day of 25 down in Kansas City played here." Sarpy County houses the future of the Royals franchise. And if you're lucky a major leaguer may make a pit stop in town..