As we noted recently, the Storm Chasers have had a successful operation in recent years, even as development has not quite taken off around Werner Park. Accounting for the first five seasons of Werner Park–a stretch from 2011 through 2015–the Storm Chasers operations produced an economic impact that exceeds $87 million. $18.5 million of that impact occurred in 2015 alone and the estimated 2016 numbers will push the total to over $100 million.
The total annual employment impact in 2015 is estimated at 133 jobs — jobs that were created as a result of Werner Park. This includes direct employment by the organization at Werner Park, along with the boost of employment in area businesses as a result of increased economic activity and consumer demand. The Omaha Storm Chasers have a full-time staff of 30 and 350 game day and part-time help for the baseball season which includes 72 home games and more than 50 special events.
The economic impact estimates were arrived at by the research services of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce based on annual sales and employment data provided by the Storm Chasers. The estimate includes the nine county metro area.
In addition to jobs and economic markers, the Chasers gave $686,137 dollars to local charities and provided 73 non-profit organizations a platform at Werner Park through its Community Organization of the Night. A total of $16,025 dollars was raised during Game Worn Jersey Auctions, while the “McDonalds and Huber Chevrolet Hurl the Pearl” promotion brought in $17,021 dollars for the Ronald McDonald House and “Hy-Vee Canned Food Sunday” delivered a value of $29,790 dollars for the Heartland Hope Mission.
Also very visible throughout the Omaha Metro, Omaha Storm Chasers players and mascots combined to make 353 appearances and along with the organization’s staff, donated 707 hours to charitable activities throughout 2015.
Triple-A baseball is known for its entertaining atmosphere and the excitement of seeing the next generation of major leaguers play in Omaha. In 2015, 14 of the Kansas City Royals on the World Series roster were players who had been on the championship teams of the Omaha Storm Chasers. In fact, more than 70% of Triple-A players go on to play major league baseball.
The business of Triple-A baseball has a positive impact on the community, the fans who attend the games and the growth of the Metro area. From playgrounds and carousels to mini-golf, party patios and weather races, the Omaha Storm Chasers Triple-A franchise provides a family friendly, safe sports venue with a powerful economic impact.