The Pioneers and the city of Gering won again Wednesday night Actually this time it was the ball park that won.
The Oregon Trail Park Stadium–home of the Western Nebraska Pioneers–won the Outstanding Tourism Attraction Award at the Celebrate Nebraska Awards Banquet in Nebraska City. The event closed out the annual Nebraska Tourism Conference, which was hosted in part by the Nebraska Rural Radio Association.
An average of 936 people attended Pioneers games in the new venue. Thirty percent of ticket buyers were from outside the Gering-Scottsbluff area and 30,000 people overall attended the games.
Gering Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Karla Niedan-Streeks says those people from out of town who came to the games dined and shopped in the community, and some of them even stayed overnight, providing a significant economic impact to the community.
Niedan-Streeks admitted it took “a leap of faith” by city officials and the local tourism segment to build the baseball park, but it all paid off with a very successful inaugural season where the Pioneers not only won the Expedition League championship but also led the league in attendance. Niedan Streeks believes the ballpark will continue to produce economic benefits in the future that will help make Scottsbluff-Gering the recreational hub of the panhandle.