DAVENPORT, IOWA - In the midst of the most successful run in Quad Cities baseball history, the River Bandits and Main Street Baseball today announced a change in the ownership of the Quad Cities River Bandits. Iowa State Senator Roby Smith has joined managing partner Dave Heller as owners of the team. The announcement was made during a press conference Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park. Smith replaces Bob Herrfeldt, who served as part-owner of the River Bandits since Main Street Iowa's purchase of the then-Swing of the Quad Cities following the 2007 season. Smith has served as a Republican State Senator for District 47 in Iowa since 2010.
Smith is in his second term as State Senator and resides in Davenport, Iowa with his wife, Kari, and their four children. With a business degree from Concordia University, Smith is also a small business owner in addition to his legislative commitments. He is chairman of the State Government committee in the senate and also serves on the Transportation and Ways and Means committees. The local leader joins the River Bandits on the heels of eight straight seasons averaging over 3,500 fans per game at Modern Woodmen Park.
"Roby Smith is a terrific friend blessed with a servant's heart. To have someone who cares so deeply for this community, as Roby does, join our team is really special," said Heller. "We have always been committed to providing the best and most affordable family-friendly entertainment in the Quad Cities, not just as a business, but as a full partner in this community. Roby's passion, energy and love for the Quad Cities is reflected in his work in the Iowa Senate, and I know he'll bring that same spirit of fun, hard work and service to the River Bandits."
The River Bandits have enjoyed the most successful stint of Minor League Baseball in Quad Cities history under Main Street Baseball's leadership. Attendance at baseball games has been consistently growing on a yearly basis, including a pair of all-time attendance records in 2015. The growth of the River Bandits attendance and their commitment to family-friendly entertainment led to the Sport Business Journal naming the Quad Cities as the No. 1 Minor League Sports Market in America in their latest biennial ranking. Modern Woodmen Park has also become a premier event site in the Quad Cities, now hosting over 150 non-baseball events per year.
"The River Bandits and Modern Woodmen Park have been the backdrop for so many wonderful memories for my own family. Now I'm excited to join the River Bandits family as a co-owner to continue making us the premier source of affordable, family entertainment for the hard-working people of the Quad Cities community," said Smith.
The River Bandits begin their 2017 campaign on Thursday, April 6, at 6:35 p.m. CDT at Modern Woodmen Park against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Group ticket packages are on sale now for the entire 2017 season. For a complete schedule, group ticket information and continued updates on the upcoming season, call (563) 324-3000 or visit riverbandits.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.