Can’t really disagree here: Modern Woodmen Park, home of the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low Class A; Midwest League), was voted the top minor-league ballpark in a national contest.
Modern Woodmen Park received the most votes from readers, fans and the general public nationwide among 20 nominated ballparks. The nominees were chosen by a panel of experts from USA TODAY, 10Best.com, and other contributors and sources for other Gannett properties.
“This is a great honor that belongs to the City of Davenport, the mayors and city leaders from all of the Quad Cities, and people all throughout this great region,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “Their constant and enthusiastic support of this club and this great ballpark continues to overwhelm and gratify us. But we will never rest on any laurels — we will continue to work to constantly improve and make even better this baseball diamond that has become the crown jewel of the Midwest and the nation.”
“This designation affirms what we in the Quad Cities have known all along, that Modern Woodmen Park, ‘A jewel along the Mississippi,’ is the most beautiful minor league park in the world,” said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba. “This national recognition serves as one more sign that our Rivervision plan, to make Davenport’s Riverfront the most spectacular and magnificent between New Orleans and Minneapolis/St. Paul, is coming to fruition.”
The River Bandits will host a special recognition for the Quad Cities community prior to the team’s next home game at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17. At every River Bandits game through the end of the 2013 season, fans can sign a banner naming Modern Woodmen Park the “Best Minor League Ballpark.” The banner will be permanently hung inside Modern Woodmen Park.
Modern Woodmen Park, which opened in 1931 as Davenport Municipal Stadium and was previously known as John O’Donnell Stadium, is the oldest stadium used continuously by a current Minor League Baseball team for more than 50 years. The current Midwest League franchise has played in it continuously since 1960, and more than seven million fans have passed through its gates in that time.
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