UPDATE: Missed the Quad Cities River Bandits home opener? You can catch them again Wednesday night.
The team will continue playing home games at Modern Woodmen Park through Sunday.
Purchase tickets and find the complete 2021 River Bandits schedule here.
EARLIER UPDATE: Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray reports a big crowd of people were trickling in as players continued their final warmups before the first pitch — set to begin around 6:30 p.m.
Before that, plenty of people are expected to head to the concession stands and partake in various rides the park has to offer, including the Ferris wheel and rollercoaster.
EARLIER UPDATE: It’s been 614 days since the Quad Cities River Bandits played at Modern Woodmen Park.
It’s a new beginning for the team in more ways than one: it’s a new season, and the team is now in a new class of Minor League Baseball — High-A Central.
Owner Dave Heller says the jump will mean better competition and gives fans a chance to watch potential major league players on a nightly basis.
“We love having our friends and neighbors come here to the ballpark. I love greeting them personally every night,” said Heller. “To go over 600 nights without being able to do that … that’s been hard. I’ve missed everybody, and I just can’t wait to see them come through the doors.”
Some of the biggest (and littlest) River Bandits fans — most of which are from the Quad Cities — were seen tailgating in the parking lot of the baseball stadium about 15 minutes before the gates opened.
EARLIER UPDATE: The boys of summer are getting ready to play ball even though it feels a little cool outside.
Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray reports live in his jacket at Modern Woodmen Park, where a Ferris wheel can be seen through the gates, and players are spotted warming up on the field in 60-degree temperatures.
Andy says temperatures are expected to drop in the 50s later on tonight, and a jacket may be needed “especially once the sun sets a little bit after 8:00.”
He adds, later in the season, baseball games will be hot and humid outside, but that it “doesn’t generally happen for some of the early season games.”
There’s a potential for some frost overnight, and a frost advisory will be in effect for a few hours after midnight.
EARLIER UPDATE: The River Bandits are back tonight at Modern Woodmen Park, and in a new class of Minor League Baseball — the new High-A Central division.
Owner Dave Heller says this promotion makes for better competition and lets fans watch potential Major League stars on a nightly basis.
That’s not the only thing fans can look forward to.
“We’ve got the biggest promotions calendar this year we’ve ever had,” said Heller, adding there will be 13 nights of fireworks, nine bobblehead and t-shirt giveaways.
“We’re going to be giving away something almost every single night all season long,” said Heller.
The home opener is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight, with the Quad Cities River Bandits taking on the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Here are things that fans should keep in mind if going to the ballpark:
- Masks are required inside the stadium — except when eating and drinking.
- Fans must stand 6 feet from other guests not in their party.
- No group can be larger than six people.
- Condiments and other items at the concession stands will be distributed in prepackaged servings.
Tonight’s home game will bring business back to the area.
The Freight House is home to restaurants and breweries and is less than a mile away from the stadium.
Businesses are glad baseball season is back.
“It was quieter, definitely, and we missed having the baseball games down here,” said Christina Bennett, manager of Front Street Brewery. “They really do help with our business here.”
Local 4’s Karla Sosa reports more on the impact home games have on some of those local businesses here.
EARLIER UPDATE: Voted the “Best Minor League Ballpark” in the country by USA Today just a few years ago, Modern Woodmen Park is back in business after being closed for more than a year and a half.
Gates are set to open 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at the baseball stadium, where the Quad Cities River Bandits will take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels in their first game since 2019.
The 2020 Minor League Baseball season was canceled.
Chief Meteorologist Andy McCray reports live outside the stadium during Local 4 News at 4, where he says it’s a chilly start to the 2021 season.
Those planning to head out to the riverfront are advised to bundle up with a jacket, as temperatures were around 60 degrees with sunshine just after 4 p.m. and are expected to get cooler as the sun sets.
Beginning at midnight, a frost advisory will be in effect for the Quad Cities, but according to Andy, that won’t prevent fun from happening both inside and outside the baseball stadium.