Converting Werner Park from a baseball diamond to a soccer field

Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 10:37 PM CDT
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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) - For the first time this week, Werner Park, home of the Omaha Storm Chasers, was converted from a baseball diamond into a soccer field for Union Omaha’s first game.

Executives with the team like Chief Executive Officer Matt Homonoff loved what they saw.

We couldn’t picture – we tried – but we couldn’t picture what the final product would look like until just a short while ago, and we think it looks fantastic, and we are very hopeful that our fans agree,” Homonoff said.

The process was overseen by head groundskeeper Derek York.

He knows how important every little detail is when making the conversion.

The sod that is placed over the dirt has to be just right so there’s no possibility of a soccer player getting tripped up. Conversely, the grass in the outfield that gets beat up by soccer players will need extra care.

In a normal year, the conversion between soccer and baseball could happen a dozen or more times when both teams are in season.

“Yeah, it definitely does throw us challenges when you have two sports out there, twice as much wear and tear on it. It just makes us a little more proactive in our management styles,” York said.

Only having to make the conversion once this year without a quick turnaround is allowing York in the grounds crew to get a handle on the process and be ready for 2021.

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