Modern Woodmen Park

From BR Bullpen

Davenport IA.jpg

Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, IA, is the home of the Quad Cities River Bandits, the Kansas City Royals' Midwest League farm team. It lies just north of the Mississippi River, in a stretch where the Big Muddy runs east to west, with a spectacular view of Rock Island Memorial Bridge.

Modern Woodmen and the Quad Cities nearly lost affiliated baseball in MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization. The Bandits reportedly replaced the Beloit Snappers on the kill list when the latter landed a deal to build a new stadium. However, when the final invitations were issued to prospective farm teams, the Bandits squeaked through at the expense of the Kane County Cougars - who are now in the independent American Association.

The reorganization greatly expanded existing standards for stadiums hosting affiliated teams, resulting in a $2.5-million renovation project that should be finished in time for the 2023 season.

The site has hosted baseball since the $185,000 Municipal Stadium opened on May 26, 1931. Davenport built it to allow night games, and it hosted the first professional baseball game ever played under permanent lights that June 4th.[1][2] Municipal also hosted Negro Leagues baseball in at least the 1930s. Home runs knocked out of it, renamed in 1971 for local sports editor John O'Donnell, often land in the Mississippi.

HOK Sport (now Populous), which didn't exist in 1931, perfected retro in the 1980s and has renovated this playpen three times. The 2004 rehab was so thorough many say it created a new ballpark. Flood protections installed in that project prevented damage from 2019's biblical flooding, yet the Bandits played just two of their first 21 home games at home because their ballpark wasn't accessible - something that had not happened since 1993, when flooding put the playing field under water.

The O'Donnell name carried over through the renovations but changed under a 2007 contract with the financial service. Modern Woodman Park received a notable addition in 2009, when a new high-definition ribbon board was added along the right field fence and four new concourse-level "loge boxes" were installed to accommodate small groups of people - followed in 2014 by a 110-foot Ferris wheel beyond the left field wall.

The star of Sugar (2008) is what "downtown retro" ballparks retro to. It's also the first stadium hosting a professional team to protect every seat in the grandstand with netting.

Media[edit]

Baseball Historian Tim Rask wrote Baseball at Davenport's John O'Donnell Stadium, released in 2004.[1]

References[edit]


Current ballparks in the Midwest League
East Division West Division
Classic Park | Day Air Ballpark | Dow Diamond | Jackson Field | LMCU Ballpark | Parkview Field ABC Supply Stadium | Dozer Park | Fox Cities Stadium | Modern Woodmen Park | Veterans Memorial Stadium | Coveleski Stadium