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Modern Woodmen Park

MODERN WOODMEN PARK

 

 

 

Modern Woodmen Park, which opened in 1931 as Davenport Municipal Stadium and was previously known as John O'Donnell Stadium, is the oldest stadium used continuously by a current Minor League Baseball team for more than 50 years. The current Midwest League franchise has played in it continuously since 1960.

Municipal Stadium, as it was originally called, opened along the Davenport riverfront on May 26, 1931 to an opening-day crowd of 3,000. It has served as the home of baseball in the Quad Cities ever since.

The stadium had undergone precious little change until 1971 when it was renamed John O'Donnell Stadium, in honor of the Davenport Times-Democrat sports editor whose role in area athletics spanned four decades. In 1989 it received a $4.5 million dollar facelift, including the installation of box seats.

But in August of 2002, plans for a full-scale renovation were unveiled to usher Quad Cities baseball into the 21st century. Expansions included 20 climate-controlled luxury suites, home and road clubhouses, batting cages, two picnic areas, two team stores, the Mediacom Sports Lounge, and a video scoreboard. Although many things changed, two things that remain from the original stadium are the classic brick facade and, of course, one of the most stunning views in all of professional sports: the Mighty Mississippi River flowing beneath the breathtaking Centennial Bridge.

In December of 2007, the ballpark received another new name. As Main Street Iowa took over ownership of the club and rebranded it as the Quad Cities River Bandits once again, the organization announced a 10-year naming rights partnership with Modern Woodmen of America that redubbed the facility Modern Woodmen Park. This partnership was supplemented by a series of new additions to the ballpark as the 2008 season progressed, including the Jumer's Casino Rock Island Hot Tub Deck, the Tiki Bar, Lounge, and Bed, and a corn field.

In 2011, the River Bandits and the City of Davenport last summer unveiled some of the most impressive enhancements to Modern Woodmen Park yet. A brand new, state of the art, high definition 20' x 35' video board went live on June 7, and the newly enclosed glass Sky Deck on the suite level of Modern Woodmen Park was completed last August.

During the 2012 season, a pair of misting stations were installed by the City of Davenport and the River Bandits, to help fans cool off during the hot summer months.

Those improvements, in addition to new flood protection, a new front plaza, and a new parking lot directly across the street from the ballpark, are quickly making Modern Woodmen Park one of the premier facilities in all of Minor League Baseball.

Quotes about Modern Woodmen Park:

"The integration of the old with the new makes Modern Woodmen Park one of the nicest ballparks in the minors."
~Ballpark Digest

"One of the finer ballparks for fans in all of the minors."
~St. Louis Post-Dispatch