Modern Woodmen Park is now equipped with remodeled bathroom and kitchen space, with the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) unveiling the latest upgrades. These alterations should enhance the fan experience at all levels of the ballpark, and better accommodate larger crowds than the previous spaces.
The expanded kitchen will allow the River Bandits to serve new food items, and cater to larger crowds on their third-floor suite level. Changes to the bathrooms, meanwhile, will be seen at all levels of the ballpark. Those upgrades focused on some cosmetic touches, such as painting and countertops, and on increasing their energy efficiency.
The executive kitchen, located on the third-floor suite level at Modern Woodmen Park, was expanded by 500 square feet in March. In addition, new cooking appliances, including a combination oven and tilt skillet, were added. The additional space allows for an expanded menu and increased volume for both baseball games and special events and ensures that the kitchen staff can accommodate the consistent growth in guests coming to the Friendliest Ballpark in America.
The guest restrooms were not only made more comfortable, but the renovations also included environmental- and sanitation-conscious innovations. Every restroom received a cosmetic upgrade with fresh paint jobs and granite counter tops. Then the River Bandits included new energy-efficient and brighter LED light bulbs to conserve energy, touchless sink faucets and toilet flush valves to reduce water waste and increase sanitation, and hand dryers to reduce the use of paper towels.
“Any good realtor knows kitchens and bathrooms are what sells a house,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “We want every person who comes to the ballpark to feel at home when they enjoy a ballgame or special event with us. As our attendance continues to increase, we needed to increase the size of the kitchen so our cooks can keep pace. We also know how important clean, good-looking and comfortable bathrooms are to our guests. So we wanted to find a way not only to improve their appearance and efficiency, but also to reduce our carbon footprint.”
“We are continuously talking to our fans and finding out what’s most important to them,” says River Bandits General Manager Andrew Chesser. “Some of the most consistent answers are ‘good food’ and ‘clean bathrooms,’ so we felt these improvements would improve the overall River Bandits experience for everyone who comes to our games or uses our ballpark for special events.”
The River Bandits team with Pro Sports Catering for all food and beverage needs throughout the baseball season and for special events. Executive Chef Lamont Tolbert has been with Modern Woodmen Park since 2015. Tolbert says the expanded kitchen allows Modern Woodmen Park’s food preparation and service maximum functionality.
“The expansion itself significantly increases our production potential,” Tolbert says. “It provides more efficient interaction between our kitchen team and our wait staff. The new tilt skillet allows us to produce more in volume and the new combination oven allows us to employ various cooking methods for our guests.”
But there is a big-picture advantage of the added kitchen space, too. According to River Bandits Director of Food and Beverage Pat Delaney, the kitchen will allow Modern Woodmen Park to get even more creative and varied with the foods they can offer to guests in years to come.
“The extra staging space created by the kitchen expansion, plus the addition of a combination-oven and tilt skillet to the equipment line, will allow Modern Woodmen Park to continue to grow,” says Delaney. “We will be able to expand game day catering and special events menus, increase service capacity, and stay current with new menu concepts and food trends.”
There are several exciting and creative menu items available for River Bandits fans. The porkzilla received several glowing reviews from opening weekend, as did the El Diablo Burger, Taco Supreme and more. All the exciting food options will be up for grabs again when the Bandits return home on Thursday, April 14, to take on the Kane County Cougars at 7:00 p.m. CT at Modern Woodmen Park.