W. Kenny Massey, President and CEO of Modern Woodmen, and Dave Heller, Managing Partner of Main Street Iowa, were both on hand to make the announcement. Together, they unveiled a new stadium logo to go along with the new name for the ballpark.
"When we started looking for a naming rights partner, we agreed early on that it would not just be about money," explained Heller, who leads the new ownership group along with Bob Herrfeldt. "We wanted an organization that was based in the Quad Cities with strong local roots in our community, and we wanted someone with a proven track record that demonstrates they share our commitment to giving back to this community. Modern Woodmen demonstrates those values to a tee."
"Our partnership with Modern Woodmen is rooted in their longstanding commitment to helping others," Herrfeldt added. "Their recent partnership with Habitat for Humanity is just another in a long line of examples of their commitment to benevolence and improving this community - and those are the same values we want our team to be known for. We could not imagine a better partner."
Modern Woodmen, in turn, was eager to improve the quality of life in the Quad Cities by helping families enjoy minor league baseball at an affordable price, while Heller confirmed the team's plans to reduce ticket prices next season.
"Today sports venues commonly partner with organizations to make their events affordable for families," Massey said. "By purchasing naming rights, Modern Woodmen can help keep minor league baseball as a fun, affordable activity for Quad City families."
Modern Woodmen is a natural fit for numerous reasons. In addition to their local roots and shared commitment to better the community, the two organizations sit across the Mississippi River from each other with the Centennial Bridge acting as a connector. Celebrating its 125th year, Modern Woodmen also has a rich baseball history that includes games between Modern Woodmen members across the nation from the 1890s to the 1930s.
The decision to change the name of the facility from a "stadium" to a "park" was based on a combination of the enhancements made to the stadium over the past several years and its location on the river, creating a park-like appearance and atmosphere.
The team and Modern Woodmen will continue to honor the John O'Donnell name. A plaque by the front entrance to the ballpark memorializes the late Mr. O'Donnell, and Heller announced that the team and Modern Woodmen will be working in cooperation with the Quad-City Times to prepare and display a new collage containing John O'Donnell's newspaper columns, accompanying photographs, and letters from World War II.
"We made sure efforts to honor John O'Donnell were included in the contract," Massey said. "Modern Woodmen respects his role in Quad Cities baseball history, and we feel this display will help educate fans about that role while honoring his memory."
The collage will be mounted next to the plaque on the concourse near the main gates. In addition, the John O'Donnell Press Box will remain as a tribute to Mr. O'Donnell's many contributions to baseball in the Quad Cities.
Founded in 1883 as a fraternal benefit society, Modern Woodmen of America celebrates its 125th year of serving members and their communities. The organization offers financial services and fraternal member benefits to individuals and families throughout the United States.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.