They're coming off a Pacific Coast League championship, with strong fan support reflected by strong ticket sales. The Omaha Storm Chasers kick off their second season at Werner Park Thursday at 7:05 p.m., as they take on Albuquerque Isotopes.
"We're coming off a storybook season," said Assistant General Manager, Rob Crain. "We are way ahead of where we were at Rosenblatt. The first year in 2011 and going into 2012, we have improved, as far as ticket sales go. And there should be even more people at the ballpark in 2012 than there were in 2011."
Crain said the move to Werner Park, off Highway 370 and 120th Street, has been beneficial. It's drawn more families who are taking advantage of the kid-friendly amenities of the park. Parents can take restless children to the Centris Family Fun Zone, but never lose sight of the game.
For Trisha Troia of Elkhorn, mother of four children ages one to eight, the stadium's design is perfect. "It’s a lot of fun because we’ve got the fun zone," she said. "They can always run down there and release some energy I guess."
Father of two, Josh Allen of Papillion, couldn't agree more. "It's more relaxed," he said. "It's great that kids can run around and you can still watch the game."
He's a true baseball fan, proud of the Storm Chasers accomplishments. "I think it's great for the (Kansas City) Royals organization. I think it's great for the city and the area. It's exciting to come to games that matter all year long."
Ticket prices, at $6, free parking and reasonable concessions help make it an affordable night out, Crain said. "A family of four can come, have hot dogs and sodas and spend under $50, program included," he said.
A new addition to the concessions at the park this year is flavored popcorn. Seven carts will be set up, each with flavor add-ons including choices like Jerk seasoning, nacho cheese, ranch and chocolate.
Before Sunday's 2:05 p.m. game, children are invited for an Easter egg hunt. And many more family-friendly events are planned. For a look at the schedule, click here.