Flooding around Modern Woodmen Park has forced the Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) to shift another home series, as their May 6-8 set will be played at the University of Iowa.
Over a history that dates back to the ballpark’s opening in 1931, the current Modern Woodmen Park’s location along the banks of the Mississippi River in Davenport, IA has left it prone to the effects of flooding. It is an issue that has posed challenges for decades–as the Quad-City Times thoroughly detailed in a recent story— but a renovation unveiled for the 2004 season introduced a flood wall system (later expanded in 2010) that keeps the ballpark and its playing surface dry even during river crests. As a result, the ballpark itself has remained undamaged by recent flooding, but the water levels are preventing safe access. Another factor in the shift of early-season games thus far has been improvements to the Canadian Pacific Railroad line that runs alongside Modern Woodmen Park. During past flooding incidents, the River Bandits and Davenport officials could install a temporary bridge over the tracks to bring fans to Modern Woodmen Park, but improvements to the line have kept trains running and prevented the bridge’s installation.
An asphalt covered walkway across the tracks did allow the River Bandits to play three home games at Modern Woodmen Park over the weekend of April 26-28, but further flooding has created access issues for the upcoming May 6-8 series against the Lansing Lugnuts. Those games will now be played at Duane Banks Field, the home of the University of Iowa’s baseball program in Iowa City.
The games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will all begin at 6:35 p.m. Each of the three contests will feature free admission for spectators, though all guests are encouraged to make a donation to help flood victims. All donations will be given to the newly-established Genesis Health Systems Flood Relief Effort.
“Our hearts go out to everyone in Scott County and the region who has suffered flood damage,” said River Bandits’ owner Dave Heller. “The flood waters have done and continue to do real damage to our community, so we are eager to join the efforts to raise money to help our neighbors rebuild. The Quad Cities has an unsinkable spirit that the deepest flood waters will never extinguish, and, like its baseball team, this community will never give up and never give in – even in the most challenging of circumstances.”
Including the relocation of the series against Lansing, the River Bandits have been forced to move 12 of their first 15 scheduled home dates to other ballparks, with another home date lost due to rain. The team has thus far played “home games” in Burlington, Clinton, Cedar Rapids and Peoria, with Iowa City to follow.