Two MiLB ballpark upgrade stories to share today. The first: Modern Woodmen Park upgrades at the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A Central), as the team preps for the 2022 season.
The $2.5 million project covers upgrades mandated by MLB’s new facilities guidelines as well as aesthetic upgrades to the ballpark. To meet the new guidelines in a situation where the ballpark footprint is limited, the River Bandits team offices will be half the space as in the past, with the new player areas devoted to a larger visitors clubhouse, a women’s clubhouse, a new training room, kitchen and lounge space. A new space will feature meeting rooms and training spaces. Also part of the mix: new batting cages and upgraded retaining walls to fight the inevitable Mississippi River flooding.
The aesthetic improvements center on a renovation of the suite level, which was added during a 2004 renovation of the facility. At that time a drop ceiling was added to the upper level, partially covering the back windows and the original wood ceiling. With a new HVAC system being installed, the drop ceiling is now gone, creating an open, airier space for year-round events. From the Quad City Times:
“So many ballparks being built today are trying to do retro. We don’t have to try. We have the real thing,” Heller said. “People will be able to experience the charm of our 1931 building.”…
In addition to bringing more light into a space where meetings, banquets and receptions are held throughout the year, the removal of the ceiling has created a different feel to the upper-level area.
“It’s much brighter, feels like a much bigger space and there is really a new panoramic view of the city,” Heller said. “We’re so excited to be able to begin booking events there starting in April.”
The $2.5 million price tag for Modern Woodmen Park upgrades seems to be a pretty cost-effective response to a situation that’s costing other teams much more.