PRESS RELEASE – Following a year in which the Quad Cities River Bandits set the all-time franchise record for per-game attendance, the Midwest League club is planning an action-packed promotional schedule – full of new giveaways, fireworks shows, charity events, theme nights and community celebrations – to take family fun and entertainment to a new level at Modern Woodmen Park in 2015.
The marathon of excitement has a running start with the third annual Bandits Race to Home 5K presented by Palmer Chiropractic Clinics at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 11, to benefit the Bandit Scholars Program. Opening weekend continues with the next day’s home opener at 1:15 p.m., featuring the annual pregame Nintendo Wii-ster Egg Hunt presented by Video Games ETC!, a Mediacom Magnet Schedule and Pennant Giveaway, and a City of Davenport Day. It only breaks the seal on an entertainment extravaganza to include 15 fireworks shows, 26 giveaway dates – including seven “bobble” giveaways – and more than three dozen unique themes, featuring both new promotions and popular annual events across the 70-game home schedule.
“Our fans are showing unprecedented support for the River Bandits, and they inspire us to bring our promotions to a record level,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “They can count on a unique show for every game, and with more fireworks, more giveaways, more theme nights and new promotions packed into this season, our guests will find more fun and the best value ever for affordable, family-friendly entertainment at Modern Woodmen Park.”
Regular gate opening will be one hour before first pitch of each game. Below are the highlights of the promotions announced on Thursday:
“Bobbles” celebrate the Quad Cities: A collection of Quad Cities community and baseball figures form the lineup of seven “bobble” giveaways over a span of weekend home games May 23 to Aug. 29. Moline native and 2014 River Bandit Thomas Lindauer’s bobblehead presented by Hebrew National (Saturday, May 23) will lead off a schedule to feature 2013 CNN Hero of the Year and East Moline native Chad Pregracke presented by MidAmerican Energy (Saturday, June 13) and longtime Quad-City Times staff member Bill Wundram (Saturday, June 20). River Bandits mascot Rascal will become a Harry Potter wizard-themed gnome presented by the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (Saturday, July 11). The August bobblehead trio will include former River Bandit and current St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn presented by Ruhl & Ruhl Insurance, a division of Hub International (Saturday, Aug. 8), the River Bandits’ first-ever Bobble Combine on Agriculture Night presented by the Illinois Farm Bureau (Friday, Aug. 28), and Houston Astros outfielder George Springer, who played three games with the River Bandits in August 2014, presented by EGS (Saturday, Aug. 29).
15 Fireworks shows in 2015: Every Friday home game will again have postgame fireworks presented by Smart Toyota of the Quad Cities. This year’s Independence Day Celebration will feature three straight nights of fireworks at Modern Woodmen Park. A show will follow each of the River Bandits’ home games Thursday, July 2, and Friday, July 3, and the ballpark will be open with free admission for the Red, White and Boom Fireworks show Saturday, July 4. Special fireworks shows are also planned for Christmas in July (Saturday, July 18) and Make-A-Wish Night presented by Olympic Steel (Thursday, Sept. 3).
More Giveaways, Mega Giveaways: From the Opening Day Wii-ster Egg Hunt presented by Video Games ETC.! (Sunday, April 12) until Fan Appreciation Night presented by Bier Stube (Friday, Sept. 4), the River Bandits will have more giveaway prizes than ever. Gate giveaways for fans who arrive early (gates open one hour before first pitch) include Mediacom Magnet Schedules (Sunday, April 12; Monday, April 13; Tuesday, April 14), a Mystery Giveaway (April 25), Military Camo Hats presented by Western Illinois University-Quad Cities (Thursday, April 30), Duffel Bags presented by the Clarion Hotel (Saturday, May 9), Bowling Tickets on Salute to Bowling Night presented by Miller Time Bowling (Wednesday, May 27), Caps on Modern Woodmen Night (Thursday, June 11) and Modern Woodmen Half-Price Nights (Tuesday, July 7, and Thursday, Aug. 20), Pint Glasses (Saturday, Aug. 1), and Team Photos presented by Burlington Trailways (Wednesday, Aug. 5). Fans may also enter for a chance to win fabulous prizes at the annual Mega Mini Fridge Giveaway presented by Budweiser and 7G Distributing (Sunday, June 21), Astros Fantacular Giveaway (Thursday, July 2), and Reynolds Ford Used Car Giveaway (Thursday, Aug. 6). New enter-to-win promotions include the Rita de Mayo Mini Rita Grill Giveaway presented by Bud Light and 7G Distributing (Thursday, May 7), the Mega Blu-Ray/DVD Player Giveaway (Sunday, May 24), the Mega Fitbit Giveaway on Get Fit Night (Sunday, July 19), and the Mega Tablet Giveaway presented by Video Games ETC! on Addicting Digital App-preciation Night (Thursday, Aug. 27).
Entertainers: Among the special appearances by entertainers at the ballpark, the River Bandits will welcome a bagpiper for Irish Heritage Night presented by Bud Light and 7G Distributing (Saturday, April 18), the Ice Queen and Snow Princess on Frozen Princess Day (Sunday, April 19), the “Jersey Boys” from the touring Broadway musical on Jersey Boys Night (Monday, April 20), professional wrestler Sgt. Slaughter (Thursday, May 28), the Fur Circus (Friday, June 19), Batman and Spider-man on Superhero Night (Friday, July 10), and pirates and princesses on Pirates and Princesses Day (Sunday, Aug. 9).
Community Causes: The River Bandits’ schedule of charity events and games has also grown. The Bandit Scholars Program fundraisers include the third annual Bandits Race to Home 5K presented by Palmer Chiropractic Clinics (Saturday, April 11), and the second annual River Bandits golf outing (Monday, July 27) at the Pinnacle Country Club in Milan, Ill. The scholarships will be awarded at the game Sunday, June 21. Among the other charitable highlights, the River Bandits will wear flag-themed jerseys for an auction presented by the Iowa National Guard (Friday, May 22), special uniforms for a Boy Scout Jersey Auction (Friday, June 19) and special caps for an Autism Awareness Cap Auction on Autism Awareness Night (Friday, Aug. 7). Fans may submit stories and photos of “Cancer Heroes” to be put in the River Bandits’ uniform numbers for the coinciding Superhero Night and Stand Up 2 Cancer Photo Jersey Auction presented by Genesis Health System (Friday, July 10). Great Clips Charity Cuts will be offered at the ballpark at the home finale (Friday, Sept. 4).
Honoring service: The River Bandits and their fans will show appreciation for service men and women throughout the season, beginning with the new Military Mondays, when active or retired military member (and up to three guests per member) can show a military ID and purchase a $1 bleacher ticket at any Monday home game, beginning April 13. The River Bandits will also give away 1,000 Military Camo Caps courtesy of Western Illinois University-Quad Cities on College Night (Thursday, April 30), as well as host Military Appreciation Night presented by the Iowa National Guard (Friday, May 22), a Memorial Day game at 5:15 p.m. (Monday, May 25), AUSA Military Appreciation Night (Thursday, May 28), and Honor Flight Night presented by R.I.A. Federal Credit Union (Wednesday, Aug. 26).
Weekly Deals: The weekly promotions follow a schedule of familiar favorites. Every Sunday is Family Sunday, when River Bandits players will sign autographs on the field, fans can bring dogs to the game for Bark in the Park, and Kids Run the Bases presented by Prairie Farms after the game. Unique Family Sunday events will include the annual Little League Day (Sunday, April 26), Mega Candy Drop (Sunday, June 14), and Father’s Day with postgame catch in the outfield (Sunday, June 21). Military Mondays are followed by Dew for Twosdays presented by Pepsi, with free 16-ounce Mountain Dews for fans who bring old Mountain Dew cans to the ballpark, and buy-one-get-one free pricing on all regular tickets. The buy-one-get-one ticket special continues into Wednesdays and Thursdays for IHMVCU members. Each Wednesday, the River Bandits will again Pay Your Bill – up to $100 for two lucky fans each game. Thirst-Day Thursdays offer $2 drink specials, Fridays bring Fireworks presented by Smart Toyota of the Quad Cities, and Fan Appreciation Saturdays feature giveaways, face painters, balloon artists and more. Amusement rides are scheduled to open Thursday, May 7, and will operate for all home games, as well as every Saturday during the Farmer’s Market and Saturday evenings. All-you-can-ride passes will be just $10 for games Wednesday, June 10, and Tuesday, Aug. 4. All other Tuesday games after the amusement opening will feature $15 pricing for all-you-can-ride amusements passes.
Thrilling Themes: The additional new theme nights include Neon Night presented by Fitness Xpress (Friday, May 8), Pitch-Perfect Sing-Off with a cappella groups on Ladies Night (Thursday, May 14), Country Western Night presented by the Broken Saddle (Saturday, May 23), Toy Story Day to celebrate the original movie’s 20th anniversary (Sunday, May 24), Jurassic Park Night during the week of “Jurassic World” opening in theaters (Wednesday, June 10), Back to the Future Night during the year (2015) anticipated by the movie series that debuted 30 years ago (Saturday, June 20), the “Geek-end” Weekend Nights of Superheroes, Harry Potter and Star Wars (Friday, July 10, to Sunday, July 12), and the Americans with Disabilities Act 25th anniversary celebration (Monday, July 13). Returning theme nights also include Legends of Rock Night (Friday, April 24), Guaranteed Win Night (Wednesday, April 29), Mother’s Day Celebration (Saturday, May 9), Vintage Baseball Night (Saturday, June 13), Halloween in July (Thursday, July 2), and Christmas in July (Saturday, July 18).
Group Gatherings: Partners, businesses, schools and groups from across the region will have special dates at the ballpark. Among them are the City of Davenport Nights (Sunday, April 12, and Friday, Aug. 28), Book Buddies Days with 11 a.m. start times (Tuesday, April 28; Tuesday, May 12; Wednesday, May 13), Total Turf & Landscape Night (Thursday, May 7), 18th Street Dairy Queen Sunday (June 14), Hy-Vee Family Sundays (June 14 and July 19), Senior Days and Camp Days with 1 p.m. start times (Monday, June 15, and Monday, July 20), Quad Cities Builders & Remodelers Association and Epic Stone Night (Wednesday, July 1), S.J. Smith Night (Friday, July 3), John Deere Night (Friday, July 31), and Faith and Fellowship Night presented by Chick-fil-A and Moody Radio (Sunday, Aug. 2).
“This promotional schedule was built from our fans’ feedback, and we are excited for all that is in store for the Quad Cities this season,” said River Bandits General Manager Andrew Chesser. “From our classic highlights – fireworks, giveaways, jersey auctions, ticket and concession deals – to our many new promotions, everyone can find a reason to enjoy the entertainment and make lifelong memories at Modern Woodmen Park this season.”
The complete 2015 promotional schedule (all promotions are subject to change) is available at http://www.riverbandits.com. Ticket packages of 12 to 70 games – which include free parking, merchandise discounts, and guaranteed giveaways – are available by calling (563) 324-3000.