More upgrades at Modern Woodmen Park have been pitched to Davenport politicos by Quad Cities River Bandits (Low Class A; Midwest League) ownership.
If you’ve been to a River Bandits game recently, you know the team has been working on a amusement-park-style addition to the ballpark past the left-field ballpark boundary. The improvements, as part of a new Modern Woodmen Park lease, would spruce up the left-field area of the ballpark with a new deck over a utility area and another new deck off the concourse; both areas are now dead space, and the goal is to convert the dead space to usable areas. From the Quad-City Times:
The ballpark lease would boost the annual capital improvement plan to $375,000. That would increase the city’s annual ballpark maintenance costs by an estimated $50,000 to $100,000. Both potential expenditures drew questions. Alderman Mike Matson, 8th Ward, wants ballpark projects to be part of the city’s capital improvement plan.
Main Street Baseball owner Dave Heller told the council the projects he proposes will cost less if done as work is being done on the installation of the Ferris wheel. He wants to extend the mezzanine level toward left field, build two seating decks just below the mezzanine, place fixed seating in front of the cornfield on the left field line and construct a viewing area in left centerfield that will extend out to the river.
“We are taking wasted space and making useful space,” Heller told the council, saying the team’s goal is to have record-setting attendance next season. “We need the space.”
One interesting twist to these lease discussions: reps from local businesses were on hand to speak out for the improvements, pointing out that the ballpark is a key recruitment tool and a big part of local economic development.
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