Print  Print © 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

Modern Woodmen Park upgraded
05/31/2008 4:47 PM ET
As kids get ready for summer vacation and the weather begins to warm up, the Quad Cities River Bandits are ready to take on the upcoming summer months with a refreshing new feel to the team's home field.

Modern Woodmen Park, the oldest stadium in all of Minor League Baseball, has been receiving new presents like a youngster on Christmas morning. An off-season full of upgrades has been enhanced by a handful of major new additions early in the 2008 season. The most notable of these are the brand new Jumer's Casino Rock Island Hot Tub Deck and Tiki Village that are suddenly commanding attention in the right field corner.

"When I look down the right field line a smile comes to my face," said team owner Dave Heller. "I would come to the ballpark last season and see a magnificent facility with so much untapped potential, so much empty space. There was this amazing ballpark that was essentially resting on its laurels, satisfied with the status quo. We wanted to see Modern Woodmen Park grow, improve, and continually get better, and once we took over the franchise we began to act on that."

In addition to an expanded kids play area that features a gigantic inflatable slide in the Genesis Healthy Kids Zone and an overhauled food and beverage menu that included four new themed concession stands, a roasted nuts stand, an adult sno-cone stand, and soon to include the Bier Stube Alpine Haus, the River Bandits have been adding permanent structures to Modern Woodmen Park in order to provide fans with more destination spots inside the yard. The little baseball field that was previously outside the stadium is now within the park's confines, enabling young fans to play on the diamond all summer long. Head Groundskeeper Ben Kratz began growing corn down the left field line in April, turning what had previously been an unutilized gravel pit into the Crop Production Services Corn Field.

But the latest additions are making the biggest splash... literally. The River Bandits opened the Jumer's Casino Rock Island Hot Tub Deck on May 19, unveiling a new hot spot for groups of 10-30 people that comes complete with a food package cooked up fresh on a nearby barbeque pit - all for just $29 per person.

Located at the back of the Party Plaza down the right field line, the QCA Spas Hot Tub is around the corner from another new landmark, the Tiki Village, which includes three Tiki Bars, a Tiki Lounge, and a Tiki Bed. All fans in the ballpark have access to the Tiki Bar and Tiki Lounge, which will feature plenty of Jimmy Buffett music. In addition a standard drink menu, themed beverages such as Mississippi Mai Thais, Pina Coladas, and Tiki Bombs will also be served. And when a River Bandits player hits a "Tiki Bomb" - a home run that lands in or over the Tiki Bar - that drink will be offered for just $2 for the remainder of that inning. Guests in the Tiki area will also be able to order food from the barbeque pit located next to the nearby Jumer's Casino Rock Island Hot Tub Deck.

The Tiki Bed, also known as the "most comfortable seat in all of sports," is a unique new spot designed to host cozy groups of six people or less. For just $90, groups can enjoy River Bandits games from the most luxurious seat in baseball, featuring a king size bed and a private wait staff to satisfy all of your food and beverage needs. A couples package is also available that includes champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and a candlelit dinner. To book the Tiki Bed or find out more about it the entire Tiki Village, fans can call (563) 3-BANDITS.

"We're lucky to have such an unbelievable ballpark, and to be able to build on it and improve it is a unique opportunity," said Vice President/General Manager Kirk Goodman. "There is no doubt in my mind that fans coming to Modern Woodmen Park for the first time this season are going to be amazed by what they see. This ballpark is going to quickly become an icon in the Midwest, a place that people passing through the Quad Cities will make a point to visit."

UP NEXT: The River Bandits are in the midst of an Eastern Iowa showdown at Modern Woodmen Park, hosting the Burlington Bees through Saturday. Get a blast from the past on Friday with '80s Night and stay late for a KWQC Fireworks Friday. Lastly, the homestand will conclude with a Salute to the Cowbell and a Cowbell Giveaway to the first 1,500 fans thanks to Kemp's Ice Cream and Rock 104.9 FM, while "The Warmth" will take the stage live for a post-game concert on a Miller Light and WQAD Newschannel 8 Rockin' Saturday. Bandit Wear featuring the new team name and logo is currently available by visiting the Modern Woodmen Park team store, and season ticket packages, mini-packages, and the popular You-Pick-10 Plan are on sale at the park or by calling (563) 3-BANDITS!