Before next season, the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) will expand the protective netting at Modern Woodmen Park. The City of Davenport has begun accepting bids for the project, which will result in the netting being extended to the far ends of both dugouts.
Once installed, the new netting will extend from sections one through 11, spanning a total of 8,750 feet. Right now the netting at Modern Woodmen Park covers sections four through eight.
The City of Davenport and the River Bandits worked during the off-season with architect Mark Miller of Bracke, Hayes, Miller and Mahon to design supports for the expanded net. Now that the design has been completed and approved, the bidding process can start to determine who will be tasked with installing the new protective net.
During last December’s Baseball Winter Meetings, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, after a comprehensive study, recommended that all Major League clubs expand the width of their nets. Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Connor endorsed the recommendation for the Minor Leagues as well.
“There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our fans, which is why we’ve pushed so hard to get this change made” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “Ours are the greatest fans in the world, and both the City of Davenport and the River Bandits are committed to doing all we can to keep our guests safe when they come see a baseball game at Modern Woodmen Park. Now, with this new expanded netting, we will have a level of protection for our fans that is unsurpassed in Minor League Baseball.”
With the bidding process now underway, River Bandits and City of Davenport officials expect the new netting to be in place for the start of the 2017 season. Any guests attending River Bandits games in 2016, as always, can request seating behind the current protective netting.