Creativity and innovation have never been an issue for the Quad-Cities River Bandits, who will celebrate the 10th year of ownership by Main Street Baseball with something old, something new and even something Cubbie blue.
The Midwest League franchise announced its 2017 promotional schedule on Thursday, including the first-ever mega-matchbox toys drop, a Ferris wheel bobblehead, an appearance by wrestler Rick Nash and multiple giveaways saluting the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs and its ties to the Quad-Cities organization.
In addition to a “W” flag giveaway, the River Bandits will hand out bobblehead likenesses of five former Quad-Cities players, including Matt Adams, current Cubs outfielder Jon Jay, former Quad-City Cubs Rick Reuschel and Shawon Dunston and former Quad-City Angels catcher and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon.
“With the popularity of the Cubs and their ties to the Quad-Cities club over the years, we felt coming off a World Series would be the perfect time to celebrate our ties to that organization,’’ River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser said.
The River Bandits also have scheduled 15 fireworks displays, the first coming on opening night on April 6 and including every Friday home game, and patterned off of the mega-candy drop, the skies above Modern Woodmen Park will fill with matchbox toys at one home game, with young fans have a chance to scoop them up.
“We’ve been looking for new and different things to throw out of a helicopter in addition to candy so we will do that and we have a night where we’ll shower the field with matchbox toys,’’ Chesser said.
The club also plans a series of pint glass giveaways and will hand out glasses, sunglasses, backpacks, caps, magnet schedules, pennants and more.
The River Bandits also a series of mega-giveaways scheduled for Wednesday home games, distributing multiple BluRay DVD players, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, Nintendos, jewelry and Amazon Fire tablets throughout the season.
Theme days, including days celebrating Star Wars, Faith and Family as well as Princesses and Pirates Day, are planned and weekly specials, including Thursday beverage nights and Sunday family days are planned.
The River Bandits have added $3 Brew and Brats Mondays to the list of weekly offerings, offering discounts on premium beers and bratwursts at each Monday home game.
“We look for something for everybody over the course of the season,’’ Chesser said.
Quad-Cities opens its 70-game home schedule April 6 with a 6:30 p.m. home game against Wisconsin.