Wednesday, June 11, 2008

River Bandits have a great night

The River Bandits had quite a night last night, including a record-setting crowd of 6,822. This is the most people that have attended a game since the stadium's renovation several years ago. At one point the line to simply get into the stadium was out to River Drive, and I parked farther away than I have any other time except the AllStar game. The new owners are making a difference like I never would have imagined possible. If attendance keeps going up the way it has been, they may need to add some more seats!No, its not the air show yet, just a Tuesday night baseball game in Davenport. There were also fireworks and a 2-plane formation flyover. I've literally seen less ceremony and excitement at some Major League Baseball games.

The box seats and club seats were sold out, and the berm and bleacher seating was packed. We'll see if the city has to build the bridge to the ballpark again this week, and if the Midwest League allows us to host games with the stadium surrounded by water. I hope they do.


pioneer98 said...

I've been surprised by how well attendance has been, too. The last game I was at had 5,300. High gas prices are no doubt putting a lot of people in a bind, but it seems it may also be causing a lot people to look for entertainment options closer to home.

QCI - Did you go out to right field and check out the Tiki Bar? What did you think?

Robbie C. said...

we actually wanted to go to the game last night, but i couldn't get he online tickets to work. the sections were filling up fast and the system was being screwy, so i gave up until another day. now if only we could get more people to the hockey games!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how QC sports seem so cyclical. I can't actually remember when baseball was popular, but I remember how popular the Thunder were in their early years at Wharton.

Then the Mallards came to town and took the spotlight (I was going to say "stole the thunder...") and the Thunder withered and died. Some blamed the Mark for being too big for the Thunder, but I think the problem was really that hockey's novelty just drew people away from basketball.

Then the Mallards' popularity waned as the Steamwheelers arrived and baseball started gaining in popularity.

Now we have packed baseball games and people lamenting attendance at hockey games (even with a team in a better league).

How many more years before somebody brings another basketball team to town and starts the cycle over again?

QuadCityImages said...

I think the Flames just needed to win a little more and they could have done pretty well. Even with their dismal home record they managed higher attendance than the previous year with the Mallards.

With baseball, I think the new owners are really causing this change. Tuesdays are buy one get one free, little leaguers get in cheap wearing their uniforms, concessions prices are cheaper, berm prices are cheaper... They've made it possible to take a family of 4 or 5 to more than a couple games a year again. They've added promotions and lowered prices, apparently banking on bigger crowds to buy more concessions and souvenirs to make up the ticket prices, which is what I always hoped the Swing would do.

Now if only the IMAX and other amenities would realize that 200 people paying $5 is better than 100 people paying $10.

As far as the Tiki stuff and the hot tub deck, it was what I figured. Both were pretty cheaply built, and I still don't get the Tiki theme for a Midwestern ballpark. The hot tub deck was closed because someone had clearly broken the plastic railing at a previous game, so it was caution-taped off. Classy.

I suppose when you do as many promotions and features as they're doing, I can't possibly like them all. Overall I think these new guys are doing a great job and the attendance is reflecting it.

Anonymous said...

Great to see baseball back on the up and up downtown. Going to games at JOD (MWP)is definitley on my top 10 childhood memory list.

pioneer98 said...

QCI - I think wind caused the damage to the hot tub deck last week. They had the canopy over it when one of those nasty storms came through.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't read too much into Tuesday's night attendance, I think most of the tickets were $2 due to the Thrivent/Special Olympics tie-in.

QuadCityImages said...

That's correct, but attendance has been up all year. Also, many of the $2 people must have paid to upgrade their tickets to box and club seats, because when I got there all of those seats were sold out.

pioneer98 said...

The Bandits are averaging 2949 per game right now. I don't have the numbers, but I bet that is AT LEAST 500 per game higher than at this point last year, and maybe even 700 or 800 more.

pioneer98 said...

There were 4,724 fans at tonight's game. I did a post about it on my blog.