Veterans Field to host minor league exhibition game

April 18, 2018 GMT

Minor league baseball will be making a one-day appearance next month at Veterans Memorial Park in Norfolk.

The Norfolk Area Visitors Bureau has teamed up with the Lincoln Saltdogs to host an exhibition game on May 12 against the Sioux City Explorers at Veterans Memorial Park’s baseball field.

The exhibition game cleared its final hurdle Monday evening when the Norfolk City Council approved an agreement as part of the consent agenda to allow the visitors bureau to use the field for the game.

The cost to attend the May 12 game is $10, but it’s a two-for-one deal. In addition to admittance to the game here in Norfolk, the ticket will come with a voucher for a ticket to any Lincoln Saltdogs home game this season.

Paul Hughes, development manager of the Norfolk Area Sports Council, is excited to see minor league baseball come to Norfolk.

“It’s something new and unique to bring a professional baseball game to our community,” Hughes said. “It gives us a chance to show off our beautiful baseball complex as well.”

Hughes said he considers the baseball field another one of Norfolk’s many assets.

“The Veterans Memorial Park baseball field is another of our community’s top-notch facilities,” Hughes said. “It’s been host to a number of high school and American Legion tournaments, including state tournaments. This gives us a chance to show the ball park is a destination for other big events as well.”

The exhibition had its genesis when Jeffrey Steffen, general manager at WJAG radio, reached out to Brett Beer with the Saltdogs about doing some marketing with the station — and Beer offered something more.

“Brett said, ‘It’s weird that you reached out because we’re looking for a new place to play exhibition games,’ ” Steffen said. “I know they’ve played in Seward and some other places, but to have them come up here and play the Sioux City Explorers, it is a natural meeting place for them.”

From there, Steffen knew who to talk to in Norfolk to make the game become a reality.

“Having been a past president of the visitors bureau, I thought it would a great sports council event,” Steffen said. “WJAG agreed to be the media sponsor and with us already being a radio affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, it is a logical fit.”

Hughes said that the May 12 game will be fun for all ages.

“It’s going to be a great family event,” Hughes said. “Parents can enjoy the evening with their young ballplayers.”

In other items of business at Monday’s city council meeting, the council approved removing a stop sign for southbound traffic located at the intersection of Norfolk Avenue and 31st Street and to remove the stop sign for eastbound traffic at the intersection of Norfolk Avenue and the road known as Hospital Road.

The sign removals are because of changes in the area related to the construction of the roundabout at the intersection of 37th Street and Highway 275.