Friday, March 1, 2024

Davenport Minor League Team Installing Amusement Rides Inside Ballpark


Davenport, IA, USA — The Modern Woodmen Park experience is about family-friendly fun, and this season Main Street Amusements is enhancing the ballpark to a whole new level. The Quad Cities River Bandits are set to become the first team in Minor League Baseball to bring a Ferris wheel inside its ballpark. But they are not stopping there. The River Bandits will also be adding a dual zip line, a carousel, a Mediacom Frog Hopper and, if the team receives approval from the Davenport Levee Commission, a 4-D Ride Theater. The team will also be adding four new bounce houses and a new 25-foot tall rock climbing wall as part of its Jumpin’ Joey’s Children’s Play Area. In the process, they will become the first minor league team to open its home seven days a week – both game days and non-game days – during the season for the public to enjoy the new attractions.

Main Street Amusements is working with the City of Davenport and multiple amusement ride companies on the aforementioned projects, all of which will debut at the ballpark this summer.

“We are always looking for creative  ways that families can enjoy affordable family fun and make memorable experiences at our ballpark, and the new amusement rides will be fantastic, unique, and affordable entertainment for the entire community to enjoy every night of the week,” said River Bandits owner and Main Street Amusements president Dave Heller. “All of these great attractions will highlight the ballpark and the Quad Cities as a one-of-a-kind destination for inexpensive family fun!”

The Ferris wheel from Chance Rides will tower to 112 feet above the playing field and be located beyond the left-field fence atop the berm. It will be entirely inside the ballpark and connected to the berm by a new boardwalk. Its opening is planned for late June, though flooding in Davenport could push the date back.

“We are ecstatic about partnering with the River Bandits and Main Street Amusements to make Modern Woodmen Park the first ballpark to create such a huge amusement experience,” said Chance Rides president Mike Chance. “We have enjoyed working with Dave Heller and his outstanding team, and we share their vision of bringing more unique and affordable family-friendly fun to the Quad Cities.”

Main Street Amusements is planning to have the pair of zip lines, the Fly Wire™, in different locations on game days and non-game days. Game days will feature the Fly Wire™ zip lines outside the ballpark, while the non-game days will give riders the incredible experience of gliding over the playing field at Modern Woodmen Park. The zip lines come from California-based Extreme Engineering, the world’s largest supplier in award-winning zip lines, climbing walls and adventure products to the entertainment industry.

“The Fly Wire™ zip lines are going to not only provide additional thrills at the ballpark, but a great view of the baseball field,” said Matt Rehnstrom, sales account manager for Extreme Engineering. “The zip lines will be a great promotional vehicle and exciting attraction for the fans in the Quad Cities.”

The carousel will be located in the right-field corner of the ballpark. The Frog Hopper will come to the ballpark in May and be located inside the Jumpin’ Joey’s Children’s Play area next to the Party Plaza along the right-field line, next to a new 25-foot-tall rock-climbing wall.

With a colorful and kid-friendly design, the Frog Hopper, sponsored by Mediacom, bounces up to seven riders comfortably along a tower as they sit in a row looking over the playing field for a one-of-a-kind view of the stadium as they “hop alongside” the Mississippi River. The Frog Hopper is an amusement ride from manufacturer S & S Worldwide, Inc. (, which has more than 400 rides in 30 countries around the world.

“S&S Worldwide is excited for our joint venture with the River Bandits and Main Street Amusements to combine amusement rides and baseball with the addition of a Frog Hopper to Modern Woodmen Park,” said Toby Garcia, North American Sales Representative for S&S Worldwide/Sansei Technologies. “With more than 250 Frog Hoppers worldwide, this ride is a family favorite that will delight kids in the Quad Cities and across the region.”

The River Bandits are also partnering with SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment to bring a 4-D Ride Theater to the ballpark, pending Levee Commission approval. A 4-D Theater shows short (5-6 minute) films with 3-D visual effects and the added thrills of the physical experience, such as seat movement and an added sense of smell and touch. The planned 4-D Experience at Modern Woodmen Park will feature several motion-based films in high-definition 3-D with added in-theater special effects.  Join Speed Racer (SPEED RACER MOVIE: © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. SPEED RACER:™ Speed Racer Enterprises, Inc. (s13)) on a six-minute, full-throttle adventure as you hurtle down the track, careening around, over and through the competition in Speed Racer Grand Prix.  The 4-D Ride Theater will also include Dino Island – one of SimEx-Iwerks’ top performing ride films and Pirates Rapids, a seemingly harmless water slide adventure that quickly takes a turn for the worst as you are whisked away to a land of pirates.

SimEx-Iwerks is a leading innovator of immersive 3-D and 4-D Attractions and the exclusive distributor of the industry’s best selling film titles. The company supports over 150 family-friendly attractions in more than 30 countries. Its attractions entertain and educate over 80 million people every year— bringing a whole new dimension to the guest experience.

“We are excited to open this popular attraction at Modern Woodmen Park – the first ballpark in the country to offer multiple amusement rides,” said Mark Cornell, Senior Vice President, Attractions Development.  “We have chosen our opening lineup carefully and these titles offer something for everyone.”

The amusement rides will complement the largest set of promotions in the history of the Quad Cities franchise.

“As the River Bandits spring into a new season, we are eager to share the new amusements and all of the family-friendly entertainment our fans will experience at Modern Woodmen Park this year,” said General Manager Harold Craw. “We can’t wait to see fans enjoying the new rides and another memorable summer at the ballpark.”

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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