Ever Been To A Ballgame In The Middle Of A Flood?

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the Quad Cities River Bandits, since they unfortunately (for those of us here, anyway) are no longer a Cardinals minor league affiliate as they were through 2012. Yet the now-Astros Midwest League team still plays at Modern Woodmen Park, the beautiful riverfront ballpark along the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.

Although, at the moment, the Mississippi surrounds Modern Woodmen Park.

It’s an island, as the river reached more than 20 1/2 feet on July 4 (which is more than five feet above flood stage) — the sixth-highest flood in Davenport history. Yet the ballpark remains high and dry thanks to the tremendous engineering that went into remodeling the ballpark about 10 years ago to build in flood protection, as well as an only-when-needed flood wall that can be installed. Which means we have the opportunity to watch the Bandits play even as the water flows around the ballpark instead of beyond right and center fields as usual … once we cross the walkway over the water, that is.

Yesterday the River Bandits hosted the Brewers-affiliated Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a doubleheader, thanks to a rainout on Saturday. So a friend and I went to the game and I, like so many others there, had to get photographic evidence of this unique occurrence. Because it’s obviously not often you go to a ballgame in the middle of a flood.

Now you can see what the experience was like as well, and it sure beats thinking about the now-third place Cardinals, doesn’t it?


Here’s what you see as you approach the ballpark, as the parking lot had enough dry land in the last row for about five cars.

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The walkway, which takes you above and over the flooded parking lots.

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The parking lot from the walkway. Yes, that’s a ferris wheel in the background — the newest addition to the ballpark this season.

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This will provide a perspective on just how deep the water covering the parking lot is.

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On the left, the flood. On the right, the dry ballpark. Down the right-center, the flood wall.

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Here’s a close-up of the temporary flood wall that’s installed when needed — and the view of just how much water it’s holding back. (And the Centennial Bridge above.)

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Once inside the stadium and up the stairs, here’s the interesting view.

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On the way to the ferris wheel, with the flood water below.

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The view of the flooded parking lot and beyond from the ferris wheel (as well as the crazy clouds at that moment).

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Flooded parking lots, Centennial Park and more, also from the ferris wheel. (Yes, that’s one of the stadium’s light towers on the left. And the Centennial Bridge behind the ballpark, which connects Davenport to Rock Island, Ill.)

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Oh, yes, there was a doubleheader. And even during a flood, the ballpark has one of the most picturesque views anywhere. This is the more famous part of the Centennial Bridge.

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And what better way to cap off the night than with a Bandits walk-off grand slam winner?

The Bandits swept the doubleheader, winning the first game 5-0 and then the second 6-4 thanks to Brett Phillips’ walk-off grand slam that was obviously incredibly exciting.

And it was the perfect ending to a (thankfully) rare experience at flooded Modern Woodmen Park.

3 thoughts on “Ever Been To A Ballgame In The Middle Of A Flood?

  1. Yes, Modern Woodmen Park was definitely an oasis in the middle of a desert. No, wait, wrong analogy. Anyway, your pictures demonstrated the enormity of the flood and the ingenuity of the engineers that kept us out of the elements that evening. Thanks for posting this

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