Earlier and consistent starting times for most home games are part of the Quad-Cities River Bandits’ 2017 schedule unveiled Monday.
First pitch for weeknight home games at Modern Woodmen Park is being moved up 30 minutes to 6:35 p.m. and Saturday home games will start 30 minutes later, also at 6:35 p.m., during the upcoming Midwest League season.
“As much as anything, we decided to go to 6:35 to simplify things rather than having a number of different starting times,’’ River Bandits owner Dave Heller said. “We’ve had fans ask us about it and this should be easier for people to remember that Monday through Saturday, we’re starting at 6:35.’’
Quad-Cities will continue to play early- and late-season Sunday home games at 1:15 p.m., with 5:15 p.m. starts scheduled during warmer-weather midseason months.
The schedule includes 11 home dates on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 10 on Sundays and four early-week day games, three in April and May designated for participants in the River Bandits’ Book Buddies reading program and one in late July.
The River Bandits will open the season at home on April 6 with a 6:35 p.m. game against Wisconsin, the start of a 70-game home schedule which includes games in Davenport on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
Quad-Cities will host Western Division rivals Peoria and Cedar Rapids 11 times apiece and welcomes Clinton to Modern Woodmen Park for eight games, with the defending division champion LumberKings visiting for a pair of four-game series, one beginning on April 20 and the second on July 7.
Defending league champion Great Lakes is one of four Eastern Division teams visiting the River Bandits this season. The Dodgers affiliate joins Fort Wayne, Lake County and Lansing on the team’s home schedule.