New season, new stuff at Modern Woodmen Park

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DAVENPORT-- For these fans it's been a long winter without baseball.

Whether you're a rookie or a veteran, chances are when you walk into Modern Woodmen Park, you'll notice some things have changed since last season.

First to bat, a new BBQ food stand with brisket, pulled pork, and sides of coleslaw, baked beans and cornbread.

Also when you walk in, more ticket windows were added to reduce the time fans have to wait in line.

Probably the biggest change in the park is the addition of a 12,000 square foot safety net. It's meant to protect fans from foul balls and splintered bats.

"It's just human nature at this point. They're going to be on their phones, be in conversations not necessarily focusing on the game. And their reaction times will be a little delayed when it comes to such fast bit balls," says River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser.

The net is made thinner than usual so fans can easily see through and still enjoy the game.

In May, park leaders plan to add LED lighting to the outfield. Modern Woodmen Park would be the first minor league stadium to go green with lighting.

And while the home team works hard to score runs, it's the teamwork behind the scenes that keeps fans smiling.

"That's really what makes the ball park special. That's why we do what we do," says Chesser.

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