Quad Cities getting in the All-Star Swing

Midwest League festivities to span two days in June

(Swing of the Quad Cities)

March 1, 2006 12:34 PM

With two years to plan, the question is, what have the Swing done in that time?

The first step involved getting together with Midwest League teams that have hosted previous All-Star events. Krause wanted to make sure the Swing didn't make mistakes other teams made while eliciting from them good ideas.

Merchandising was a big focus for Quad Cities. The challenge of ordering the right quantity of products and creating new items to market was met after meetings with other MWL teams.

In 2004, O'Donnell field was renovated, keeping only its retro-looking brick exterior and completely revamping its interior. The new concourse, which runs above the seating bowl, is something of which Krause is most proud.

"It used to be underneath, so fans would have to be pulled away from the game to go to the concession stands," he explained. "Now you can stand in line for your hot dog, turn around and see the game."

The addition of 20 luxury suites and club level seats enables the ballpark to accommodate more fans during the All-Star event.

Once the outline for the two-day extravaganza was completed, the Swing went to the company that designed their emblem for similar work on the All-Star logo. San Diego-based Plan B Branding incorporated the colors of the Swing logo with historic Centennial Bridge -- which links Davenport, Iowa, with Rock Island, Ill. -- in the background.

Choosing a design that reflected the rich musical history of the Quad Cities was essential to Krause. The bottom half of the logo features the saxophone that is unique to the Swing emblem.

"Swing music is an offset of jazz, which is true to this area. With a name like Swing, it's a double meaning for the music and the swing of a baseball bat," Krause said. "It's fun, creative and family-oriented, just like our first All-Star Game in O'Donnell in over 10 years."

While several components are in place, every big event will have a few snags along the way. The biggest challenge facing the Swing involves getting things together once rosters are released. That won't happen until about a week before the game.

Producing baseball card sets that feature the All-Star lineups in time for fans to purchase them will be the first order of business.

The Swing will host the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a regular-season game on Sunday, June 18. That means long hours for members of the grounds crew, who have to get the field ready for All-Star festivities less than 24 hours later.

"Typically, you want to be on the road for a number of reasons," Krause stated. "The field is fresher, it looks better, etc. But we can't ask for everything and get it. There's going to be issues along the way, but that's the fun of planning something so big."

Sapna Pathak is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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