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River Bandits are ready to start 2014 baseball season

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The call to play ball is just a week away at Modern Woodmen Park. That's when the River Bandits hold their season opener against Kane County.

After a wicked winter and soggy spring, the boys of summer are about to return.

The River Bandits are ready to defend their championship crown. It won't be long now -- just seven days until opening day.

Related: WQAD to sponsor fireworks at 2014 season's Bandits games

"The Houston Astros have been a great partner with us, to be able to give us talented players," said General Manager Andrew Chesser.

That beep in the business office is the sound of success. Ticket after ticket is rolling off the printer. It's a race against the clock.

"They know what needs to get done to get the job done," Chesser said. "It's late hours. It's early mornings, but it's nothing that we're not used to."

That includes a partnership with Budweiser and a new name for its award-winning Sky Deck.

"We like to support champions," said Michele Raymer, marketing manager for 7G Distributing. "Why don't we just call it the Champions Club? Get your flags up there."

Early preparations kept a brutal winter from taking a toll on the field.

"It's just kind of been minor fixes and touch-ups," said Chesser. "The field is in good shape. It's in playable shape."

Both on and off the field, the River Bandits are ready to make the 2014 season the best yet. That means entertainment for everybody.

It's a park-within-a-park concept. A new Ferris wheel is on track for a May debut with other features.

"We want to give fans and families a reason to come out," Chesser said.

As workers continue preparations inside the stadium, it's clear that this crew will be ready for the first pitch.

"To have a product like this to be able to give to the Quad Cities community, it's our driving passion for it," he concluded.

A love of the game at Modern Woodmen Park that's back for 2014.