Davenport aldermen couldn't get enough votes, so Mayor Bill Gluba's veto of St. Ambrose University's stadium proposal stands.

The city council attempted to override the mayor's veto at a special meeting Wednesday at City Hall. But in a 6-4 vote, the council was shy of the seven votes needed to make it happen.

"I'm here begging for an override," Merredyth McManus, the university's student retention director, said before sharing how the university lost five athletes in one semester because "they did not want to spend one more day at our soccer facilities."

Despite impassioned pleas from more than 50 speakers both for and against the stadium, aldermen voted Wednesday as they did July 9, when they approved the stadium plan. Gluba vetoed the plan July 16.

In a written statement after Wednesday's vote, Gluba said his veto was "mostly about protecting the property rights of homeowners and neighbors from deterioration and devaluation."

University officials say they are re-evaluating their options, including a plan to develop a sports complex with nearby Assumption High School.

Sister Joan Lescinski, president of St. Ambrose University, said she was "extremely disappointed" the council couldn't override the veto.

She said officials will move forward and “study all options,” including those possible through Assumption.

St. Ambrose sought a rezoning of a portion of the St. Vincent's Center property from moderate density dwelling district to a planned institutional district so the university could build an athletic complex with a 2,500-seat football stadium and track, parking and other athletic fields.

Neighbors opposed to the project have cited traffic congestion from the stadium among their concerns, as well as added noise during games and worsening stormwater runoff from building a large structure in a wetlands area.

Mike Poster, St. Ambrose's vice president for finance, said the university made "significant concessions" with neighbors.

"We spent four years listening to neighbors, designing a complex that met and even exceeded every city requirement," he said.

Some neighbors who live around the St. Vincent property were relieved after Wednesday's vote.

"Of course I am," Jacklynn Draper said. "I've been fighting this for five years. Everything they've done is to make them look good, to protect their own property, not ours."

Council chambers filled to standing-room-only before the meeting began at 5 p.m. The public comment stretched to 90 minutes as more and more lined up to speak.

A contingent of young women attended the session — many of them will begin their freshman year at Assumption High School later this month. Assumption is next to the St. Vincent property.

Several of the student-athletes pleaded that the council allow St. Ambrose University to build better athletic facilities that Assumption students could use in the future.

A few St. Vincent neighbors supported the plan, among them Sally Ellis, an Assumption graduate who called opposition to the stadium a "bunch of silliness."

Many neighbors spoke against it.

Eileen Heinold said she fears the complex will drive away prospective homeowners.

"They don't want to be close to a stadium," Heinold said.

Among the opponents, Donnie Miller said a stadium would devalue the neighborhood to the point of attracting violent crime to the area. 

"Do you want to raise children with bullets flying around?" Miller asked. His comment drew groans from the audience.

Betzy McLeland said she and her neighbors realized they were in the minority with their opposition to the stadium, but the mayor’s veto served to protect the minority opinion.

Neighbors are prepared to “do what we can to protect our neighborhood,” McLeland said.

(30) comments


What happened to the rest of the comments.???

Tyler Guth

Well, DKTF, these five athletes didn't love the sport or the college enough not to walk out, apparently.

Do a little reading the article before you spout off wherever that came from.

Concerned Parent 60

Ambrose will wait until Gluba gets voted out this next election.. Gluba's veto is all about trying to get Ambrose to build a venue out by the new Casino. In short, he is taking care of his buddies, as he wants a multi use facility out by I-80.

Tom Paris

I will flat out say I will vote for a poodle if it runs against Mike Matson and or Bill Gluba. This is the most disappointed I have ever been in our Davenport government and it isn't even close. I agree with everyone who says they hope Assumption/SAU get together and build the stadium SAU wanted before they downsized. The thing is, even the larger stadium will cause very little problems for the neighbors. The neighbors who I read or saw quotes from sounded like morons. They are afraid to hear profanity? That's just stupid. None of their fears are valid and SAU and the rest of the community got screwed. Again, I hope Assumption and SAU get the complex they originally wanted and if I was them I would have ZERO meetings with the neighbors going forward. Stick it to these NIMBYs!!! And the embarrassing mayor I am so sorry to have voted for.

Shep Proudfoot

When you type the word "Gluba" into an iPhone, it autocorrects it to Flubs....weird.


"When you type the word "Gluba" into an iPhone, it autocorrects it to Flubs....weird."

...well, not so weird. Those iPhones are pretty intuitive.


This is a typical political move.......Politicians here, just like in DC, are people who think they are way more important than they are and can't hold real jobs so they go into politics to stroke their egos......I hope they end up building a 10,000 seat stadium right next to Gluba's house....His comment about we "don't need more football players" was one of the dumbest things a liberal has ever said....Truth is we need LESS politicians.......When is the last time you saw a "my child's an all-state politician"? Didn't think so....This is what happens when stuipd people are allowed to vote....(same as the clown we have in DC)


Well said. Next Gluba will tell us how many ounces out sodas can be. Govt control, isn't it great?

Tyler Guth

That's a creepy but flattering argument for anonymity on here.

Tyler Guth

What do you mean, mfj? It's a valid comment as much on the high road as anything. People primarily looking for a competitive athletic experience in college have plenty of options for fulfilling that. Ambrose has many other positive attributes, but for students to act surprised by the facilities or level of play seems stupid.

Ambrose seems like a place where you could have a nice balance between academics and athletics. You could probably be in football and orchestra if you wanted, and that's wonderful. I didn't mean it as a slight at all.

Mister Know It All
Mister Know It All

Do you live in Davenport, Ty? You went to PV HS, College out East, then lived in Chicago...now Florida.

We don't need you flapping your soup coolers. You've got no skin in the game.

Tyler Guth

Why would a person go to Ambrose primarily to be a student athlete? I would be fascinated to meet the five students cited.


Recruiting at private schools is highly competitive and sports serve as an attractive lure. Checkout this article regarding SAU's Illinois QC counterpart to lend some context to why this is important.



Think before you post something like this, then take the high road.


MJ, your comments were right on.

Tyler you cannot be that ignorant to think that student athletes at small colleges do not choose the school based on athletics. While it isnt as glamorous as Division 1 athletics, kids are recruited hard and still put in a lot of time and effort towards their sport. The difference is there are little to no scholarships. These athletes choose to continue playing because they love the sport they play. Do a little research before you spout off at the mouth.


Now we need some respectable people to step up and run against these jokers - please!


This story has to have some of the most boneheaded comments I've ever read. Violent crime and bullets flying around? Were these people joking?

As someone who works in the athletic department for the United States Military Academy, I feel I have a good understanding of how this business works, and those who voted/spoke up against this proposed stadium have blocked St. Ambrose and Assumption from a great opportunity to expand in more ways than athletics. On top of that, I'm not sure the neighbors realize just how small a 2,500 seat stadium is; you can hardly call it a stadium or a disturbance. Even so, it is a major missed opportunity.

Fortunately, it sounds like this stadium will end up being built, hopefully bigger. We'll see how the neighbors feel when they start making money off fans who want to park in their yards when lots are full.

Matt Johnson, Assumption High School '07


One bright spot to this entire process is the attention and focus on our council but mostly out mayor. Votes matter! Please get out and vote next election!


To the six aldermen who voted "yes" thank you. You 6 showed that you care about the "CITY" of davenport and are not afraid of change. The 6 of you realize that Davenport needs something new and realized that the "green" space is just a waste of space right now. SAU was going to accommodate the neighbors and make it work with the least amount of disruptions to the neighbors and the area around it. They were going to make it a state of the art complex.

Well now AHS & SAU can work together to build a bigger stadium. I would put the parking lots along the alley way there and put all the fields away from the neighbors. I would also make sure the neighbors have zero access to the fields or track. Also be sure to blast music and allow tailgating for all games in the parking lot. The neighbors screwed themselves big time and they will now pay for it.

It is just mind boggling that we have 3 major projects going on (genesis, SAU, and casino) and our educational institution gets vetoed, but the other two move forward. They do realize that we are 192 in the nation in growth? Lets upset he one thing in davenport that can attract new people to the area. I know hundreds of former SAU students who live in the QC area right now. If those people didn't go to SAU, you think they would be in Davenport, NOPE! They came to school here and loved it here and decided to stay. Well now if I was SAU I would tell every student to move outside of Davenport (Bettendorf, PV, Eldridge, Moline, Rock Island). Move out of the city of Davenport and lets see how our 4 aldermen and Glubba handle that issue.


Gutless. Grounds for another lawsuit that they are bound to lose. Davenport creates jobs, but only for lawyers.


What a joke, bullets flying by? This isnt the Oakland Colliseum, or the downtown skate park/ basketball courts. Its a College/High School football and soccer complex.

I just want to see the stadium built and built bigger than the plan. Ambrose did nothing but compromise. No go out and build it bigger. 2500 wont hold anything near what Assumption will draw for the Bettendorf or Xavier games going forward.


The leadership shown by the mayor is inspiring. Ok I couldn't even type that without laughing. The neighbors better enjoy the new stadium now even more. The land they think is their park is going to become a stadium. And the leadership shown by the manchild mayor will be epic.


Can someone tell me when the mayor and city council is up for re-election? I want to make sure I don’t miss that one!


The neighbors including Gulba do know that Assumption can just build the stadium and they can make it as large as they want right?


Yes...They will wish they had only built a 2,500 seat stadium....Now they'll do better...hope they get extra large floodlights as well........

Wags a lot

Hopefully everyone can move on & the neighbors can stop thumping their chests. I want to see how the mayor & council handle the new casino. That will affect way more citizens than the SAU stadium.


Yep. I see the neighbors tying themselves to trees and blocking the access driveways to the new Assumption complex ... much like the protesters in the late 1960s when they tried to stop progress. If I were the contractors, I'd move right in and if there's anyone standing in the way ... .


I expect the Casino to be stopped as well. I have heard several people voice concerns over the increased traffic and crime associated with a Casino. Some how I doubt that this Mayor or City Council would dare to step in front of that project.
I hope SAU and Assumption team up to build this exact stadium and all the things they promised the neighbors. When it is done and the problems the neighbors expected do not happen, we will all see them for what they really are. And SAU will look all the better for honoring their word.


Enjoy your new stadium Assumption.


No big surprise. Now things should get really interesting.

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