Chronological Tour: Stop 170

Jewel of the Quad Cities

The outside of John O’Donnell Stadium as seen from a ramp to the Rock Island Centennial Bridge, Aug-2006.

A view of the renovated park’s interior from farther out along the bridge.

The field has been rotated so that the bridge dominates the view for more spectators.

Quick Facts: Rating: 4 baseballs
Numerous improvements have been made to John O’Donnell Stadium since it was opened in 1931, but it retains much of its charm thanks to its magnificent location.

A railroad track separates the Mississippi from the city of Davenport, but near the Centennial Bridge there is about a 600-foot buffer. The stadium was squeezed in beautifully between the track and the river, leaving just a two-lane road between right field and the riverbank. This has since been closed with the 2004 renovation.

The old grandstand was covered by a roof, and concession stands were under the grandstand. In the massive 2004 renovation, the only thing that remained was the exterior shell. In the new facility, there is a single open-air seating level with the luxury and press boxes below it, and concessions are more readily accessible on the concourse.

What makes the park stand out, though, is the view. From the third-base grandstand one can see the Mississippi in all its splendor. The lighted Centennial Bridge spans the river in foul territory, and both riverboats and barges are likely to pass by the field. Across the river sits Rock Island, one of the other Quad Cities (which include Moline, Ill., and Bettendorf, Iowa). The 2004 renovation moved the orientation of the field 20 degrees to the right, bringing the bridge more clearly into view for more spectators.

In 1993 and again in 2001, the Mississippi flooded much of Davenport, causing damage to the stadium and forcing the postponement or relocation of a good number of River Bandits games. Residents and officials have opposed levees due to the significant tourism revenue that is generated by being so close to the river and holding events there. The 2004 renovation made the levees an integral part of the park, and there are also flood gates to keep water from entering the ballpark.

For 2008, the club has contracted with the fraternal insurance association Modern Woodmen of America for naming rights to the park. The memorial to local sportswriter John O’Donnell continues; while his name is no longer on the facade, the press box has been prominently dedicated to him.

Photos from 1999:
The old seating bowl
Old orientation of the park to the bridge

Game # Date League Level Result
387 Sat 4-Sep-1999 Midwest A QUAD CITY 7, Cedar Rapids 2
1426 Thu 3-Sep-2015 Midwest A QUAD CITIES 11, Kane County 5
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This page updated 3-Sep-2015