The Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) have already planned more amusements at Modern Woodmen Park for 2017 and have approached the city to launch another interesting venture: an 18-hole mini-golf course beyond the center-field Ferris wheel.
The River Bandits and owner Dave Heller of Main Street Baseball have augmented the baseball offerings at Modern Woodmen Park over the years with a series of amusements that include the center-field Ferris wheel and bumper cars and will have more by Memorial Day. The proposed mini-golf course would sit outside the ballpark gates in center field in an area already envisioned as a home for more amusements. The idea: generate revenue on off-game days with a standalone attraction. The area, formerly housing horseshoe pits, was torn up by construction work and is currently unused. It sounds like city officials are amenable to the plan, per the Quad-City Times:
Besides filling a need because the city has only one other miniature golf course, which is for sale, [River Bandits GM Andrew] Chesser emphasized the impact it could have on downtown business.
“This would bring people to downtown Davenport,” Chesser said. “As a downtown Davenport business, that is our ultimate goal of bringing as many people as possible, continue to bring people for extended periods of time and make sure they are staying here, having a good time here, patronizing our restaurants and doing other things downtown.”
As for adding another amenity to the riverfront, Chesser said because of its ground level construction, it would not obstruct views of the Mississippi River.
Davenport’s riverfront was once a fairly deserted area. Now, with new businesses in an old debate and the increasing popularity of a downtown farmer’s market, the area near Modern Woodmen Park has shown increasing signs of life. Adding more amenities to bring folks downtown makes business sense both for the team and the city.