Business

Entertainment development proposed near Nebraska stadium

A proposed entertainment development near an Omaha-area ballpark could turn farmland into a complex serving hungry and thirsty sports fans.

The project would bring bars, restaurants and shops in the shadow of the Werner Park stadium in Papillion, developer Jerry Torczon told the Omaha World-Herald .

The Papillion Planning Commission gave the 62-acre (25-hectare) mixed-use development on the south and east side of the ballpark initial clearance last month. Specifics of the plan have not been released.

Torczon has a history of investing in the area. His company, BHI Development, has transformed pieces of farmland into several neighborhoods.

If it goes ahead, this latest development could lure fans to stick around after games.

Martie Cordaro is the president and general manager of the Storm Chasers minor league baseball team. He said the 2018 season brought nearly 346,000 fans to the ballpark. Come next spring, Omaha's professional soccer team will also play at the stadium, bringing its fans to the area.

Cordaro noted he's excited about the prospect of any developments that complement the success of the Storm Chasers.

"We've been eager to be a part of (developments near Werner Park) dating back to 2009, when we agreed to permanently keep Triple-A baseball here in the metro area."