Ferris Wheel One Of Many Additions Aimed To Attract To Visitors - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Ferris Wheel One Of Many Additions Aimed To Attract To Visitors

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The wheel is in motion. Wednesday, the new Ferris wheel at Modern Woodmen Park had a test run with some community leaders. It's part of quite a few additions for the ballpark recently.

If you think about all the recent and upcoming changes at the ballpark, to some, it seems like a lot going on. At the Committee of the Whole meeting Wednesday, city leaders discussed allocating more money toward another expansion at the park. Officials say it's about utilizing the facility for more than just game days.

It's a new vantage point for downtown Davenport. As high as 110 feet up overlooking Modern Woodmen Park, River Bandits Owner Dave Heller says the new Ferris wheel is part of a big effort to attract new visitors.

"We want it to be a place where people are entertained no matter what their age, no matter what their entertainment level of baseball," said Heller.

It goes along with the zip line making a return this year and couple of other rides coming: the drop and twist and space camp.

"It's crazy if we only use it 70 nights a year when we play baseball. We want to make it open every night all summer long ultimately, that's our goal," added Heller.

Davenport council has been involved in some of the recent plans for expansion at the ballpark too. New seating with a fire place deck is under construction now. City leaders are also considering using $25,000 in unspent downtown TIF bond proceeds for another addition.

"Tonight it's relocate the fence out there in right field to enlarge that play area little bit more and make room for the carousel and he's actually paying for the carousel. We're going to pay for moving the fence," said Alderman Jeff Justin.

He says council members have had discussions over when enough is going to be enough for amusement add-ons to be involved with. "You know we have that conversation quite a bit so I think we'll know when we get there," said Justin. He doesn't think they're there yet. The lease agreement allows for capital improvements and city leaders see it as putting money back into a major asset to bring people into downtown Davenport.

"The kids enjoy it, it's good for the families. We'll discuss that when it gets to be too big," said Justin.

One of the growing uses at the facility is weddings. Heller says Modern Woodmen Park hosts more than all the other Midwest League teams combined. As for the Ferris wheel, it officially opens to the public on Saturday, May 24th.

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