"Friday is the culmination of more than two years of hard work and commitment to this project, and we couldn't be more excited to officially open up Werner Park," said Storm Chasers Vice President and General Manager Martie Cordaro. "This ballpark was built for the fans and for the fan experience. We plan on giving them decades of thrills and it all begins Friday night."
The experience begins the moment fans start to arrive on the grounds of Werner Park at 4 p.m. Live music, food and drinks under a party tent will be a welcome sight for fans arriving early to lot F4, the free parking lot at the northwest corner of Werner Park just off 126th street. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., giving everyone ample time to walk the 360-degree concourse and enjoy the various concessions stands and the Storm Front gift shop. A barbershop quartet will sing. Beverages will flow at the Quality Brands Downdraught Bar and the Jim Beam Club.
For the first 2,500 fans through the gates, Immanuel Communities will provide Werner Park Welcome Mats, a highly-collectable item signifying the opening of the brand-new ballpark. In addition, the first 5,000 fans will receive a collectable Werner Park lapel button, courtesy of American Family Insurance. Following the game, American Family Insurance will also present the first Friday Fireworks of the 2011 season.
The half-hour in-park pregame celebration, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will feature luminaries such as Storm Chasers owners Bill Shea, Warren Buffett and Walter Scott, Team President Alan Stein, MLB Hall of Famer George Brett, Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Conner, Pacific Coast League President Branch B. Rickey, local elected officials and many more. The pregame show will conclude with the colors being presented by Offutt Air Force Base and a National Anthem performance by Omaha native and recent American Idol contestant Tim Halperin.
For tickets for Opening Weekend and the entire 2011 season, call (402) 738-5100, visit the Werner Park ticket office from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday or go online at www.omahastormchasers.com.