Commission weighs mini golf course plan for Modern Woodmen Park

DAVENPORT, Iowa As the off-season for the Quad Cities River Bandits is just getting started there's more discussion on plans for a new attraction at the ballpark. The Riverfront Improvement Commission is weighing a proposal for an 18-hole miniature golf course.

The course would go behind the Ferris wheel and scoreboard at Modern Woodmen Park. It's about 20,000 square feet of grassy area which the city owns. The River Bandits owners want to invest $600,000 of private funds to make it happen. They hope to extend the boundaries of their current lease on the ballpark, like what was done to build the Ferris wheel several years ago.

There've been mixed opinions from the public on the added attractions at the ballpark in recent years. With this proposal, some commission members think the piece of land should stand on its own.

"To walk in here and attempt to just roll over 11 of your fellow citizens with a great idea, albeit a great idea Dave, I think is a little presumptuous and rather arrogant," said Karl Rhomberg, Riverfront Improvement Commission secretary.

"Why not use it all? Why not make this ballpark open, give it a reason to attract families and open this ballpark up every day?" said River Bandits Owner, Dave Heller. "This would take the ballpark boundary to the jogging path and not cross it."

The mini golf course would need to be elevated to the 100-year floodplain, which means building up the ground 6 feet or more. No decision was made at Tuesday night's meeting. It will likely be back on the Riverfront Improvement Commission's agenda in October. If approved, River Bandits owners want to get started on building as soon as possible to have the course open next spring.