In just 9 days, the Quad Cities River Bandits will be at Modern Woodmen Park for their home opener to kick off the 2013 season. However, this year, the team will have something that no other minor league baseball team in the country has to offer to its fans.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, city and team leaders moved forward with a plan to build a 90-foot-tall Ferris wheel right next to the ballpark.
“We all found the site that works best for the team, works best for the city, works best for the community and we’ve agreed on that and now we’re moving forward and that’s always exciting,” River Bandits Owner, Dave Heller, told News 8’s Angie Sharp.
The Ferris wheel will sit outside the left field wall of Modern Woodmen Park, behind the LeClaire Park Bandshell, and built high enough off the ground so it stands clear of flood waters.
At the nearby Freight House Farmer’s Market, Market Coordinator Dianna Blake says the proximity of the new attraction could bring more business to her vendors on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“More activities for children brings more families down,” says Dianna. “More families brings more activities. It’s great fun for everyone.”
Shopper and downtown Davenport resident, Sandra Miller, agrees that having more reasons to come downtown – especially kid-friendly ones – is a move in the right direction.
“What Davenport really needs is a good downtown attraction that will keep people down here and who want to bring their kids down here and not just to parades,” says Sandra.
Davenport city council has also approved the construction of a carousel and zip line at Modern Woodmen Park, but they’re focusing on the Ferris wheel first. City leaders hope to have it up and running in time for “Red, White, and Boom!” this 4th of July.
“The key is we want to do it as quickly and safely as possible,” says Heller. “If we can truncate the schedule a little bit and get it open earlier and let people enjoy the wheel for more of the summer, I think that’s a good thing.”