In the middle of a sea of cornfields in rural Iowa lies a spot that instantly sparks nostalgia in baseball fans everywhere -- the site of a 1989 hit movie Field of Dreams which coined the phrase “If you build it, he will come.”
And they do come. The iconic site in Dyersville, Iowa, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and received international attention as the site of a Major League Baseball game earlier this summer.
The site is located on a 190-acre farm and is quite literally, in a cornfield.
City leaders are now working to capitalize on the attention and attract more visitors by improving the visitor experience.
The city was recently awarded a $1.5 million EDA grant to support water and wastewater infrastructure to connect city services to the Field of Dreams site. The three-mile stretch of infrastructure will sit along a busy thoroughfare extending from Highway 136 to the location.
“We believe by doing this allows for more economic development opportunities on the site which would not be able to take place without having municipal services there,” said Dyersville City Administrator Mick Michel.
This infrastructure is an important part of supporting tourism. The town of 4,500 welcomed around 20,000 visitors to town during this summer’s MLB Field of Dreams game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. The game is planned to be an annual event, with plans already in place for a game in 2022.
The tourism doesn’t stop at professional baseball. Leaders have big plans for the area.
“It allows for development opportunities like a hotel and a permanent MLB stadium, along with a future convention center and other opportunities to service the needs at that site,” Michel said.
Other proposed development around the Field of Dreams site includes youth baseball facilities.
“I think this has been the catalyst to starting other great projects in our number one tourism site in Dyersville but also in the state of Iowa,” Michel said.