Deadline Looming for Best Ballpark Vote - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Deadline Looming for Best Ballpark Vote

Updated: Aug 9, 2013 09:48 PM

Talk to fans, and many of them will tell you Modern Woodmen is the best minor league ballpark in the country. And it could soon hold the title officially. As of Friday, there are just three days left to vote in a USA Today Travel contest that would make it so. So community leaders are making a last minute push for votes.

The voting site says Modern Woodmen is dwarfed by the Centennial Bridge, with an outfield berm that also serves as a flood wall. A popular bar sits on it, offering amazing views. But the Bandits owner wants fans to look beyond that, and take notice of the sign on the stadium that reads "the friendliest ballpark in America". Dave Heller says, "We want all of our fans, every single one of them to feel this really is a special place, a place where they go not just to see a ball game, but to be entertained. A place to make memories, and that's what we try to do every night."

That ballpark experience, what community leaders came together to highlight Friday, making a last minute push for votes, appealing to fans and families. "Last week, my wife and I brought five of our youngest grandchildren over here for a game on a Wednesday night," Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley says. "They had an absolute ball. One of them got a foul ball and took it home with him. They loved the game. They loved to watch the baseball, but they love all the activities that go with it."

It's what long-time fans tell us too. Karen and Steve Hanna say, "Just being around the people and enjoying the game. Seeing some good baseball really." Eight-year old Bella Kautz tells us, "I like seeing, I don't know what his name is, he's the raccoon." And Ann Hechler says for her, it's about the atmosphere. "I like the crowd. My sons, 2 boys, love the jumping things."

Looking forward to new additions of the ferris wheel and carousel next season, the newly installed zip line and of course, the cornfield behind third base, because this is Iowa. But community leaders stress that this ball park belongs to the QCA. And a title of the Best in the Minor League will benefit everyone here.

Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba says, "Tourism is our 7th largest employer, the hospitality industry. Over 7,000 full and part-time jobs are directly related to tourism in the Quad Cities." He says that pumps 800 million dollars into the economy each year.

Heller says there are about 38-hundred fans filling the seats each night, thanks to the players and promotions like fireworks and bobble heads. But everyone involved says the title can only bring more.

The last day to vote is Monday. You can vote once per day per computer. So community leaders ask you to do that on your computer, your cell phone, even your tablet. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.