It was official on June 30th that the Quad Cities would be without professional baseball for 2020.  With the MLB changing the way the minor leagues would be structured, some wondered if it would ever be played again.

As we near the end of 2020 we get good news for 2021.  The Quad Cities River Bandits today announced a new affiliation agreement with the Kansas City Royals.  Not only have they agreed to partner with a new team, but also the level of play will be better as the River Bandits will be going from a Single-A team to Advanced-A baseball.  That puts the Quad Cities players just below Double-A and one step closer to the Major Leagues.

“Moving up to Advanced-A and securing a long-term affiliation with the Kansas City Royals will be the best
thing to happen to baseball in the Quad Cities since the renovation of Modern Woodmen Park” said River
Bandits owner Dave Heller. “Having Advanced-A baseball in the Quad Cities means the players who come
through our ballpark are markedly more likely to reach the major leagues. It’s a higher level of play, with
better pitchers and better hitters and more experienced players. And there is no better organization in
baseball than the Kansas City Royals, no one with whom we would rather affiliate. Dayton Moore, J.J.
Picollo, Scott Sharp – they are the best. They do things the right way, treat people the right way. And they
have a proven record building a World Series Champion. All of us in the Quad Cities who love baseball are
extremely grateful to Senators Grassley and Ernst for all of their hard work. We can’t wait to welcome
everyone in the Royals organization to the Quad Cities.”

The Royals also announced the other teams and cities invited to become affiliates.

The Kansas City Royals are excited to announce that
the organization has invited the following four communities to become our affiliates in MLB’s new
player development structure. The Royals have officially made offers to Omaha (AAA), Northwest
Arkansas (AA), Quad Cities (A) and Columbia, SC (A).
Each of the four invited affiliates will be required to agree to the Player Development Licenses
issued by Major League Baseball to officially become an affiliate of the Royals’ organization, a step
that will likely be completed at some point after the first of the new year.

Read the full release from the Quad Cities River Bandits here.

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