Following nearly two years of planning, and more than six years since the concept was first discussed, Major League Baseball has announced the ballpark that will host its MLB at Field of Dreams event is close to completion.
The Chicago White Sox take on the New York Yankees on August 12 at the temporary Dyersville ballpark, which will stage the first Major League game ever played in the state of Iowa. MLB at Field of Dreams is to be played at the tourist destination made famous by the eponymous movie.
Since 1989, the Lansing Family Farm, which was used in the Universal Pictures’ movie, has been a popular tourist attraction, and is now known as the Field of Dreams Movie Site. In 2011, the field was purchased by Denise Stillman and a group of investors with the goal of preserving the Field of Dreams and creating a special place for baseball fans, tournament players and families.
Stillman, who passed away in 2018, began working with MLB in 2015 – culminating in the special game, which was originally scheduled for August 13 last year only to be postponed due to COVID-19.
MLB appointed BaAM Productions, Populous and BrightView for the 8,000-seat stadium project, whose bullpens, located behind the 12-foot high padded wall in center field, are designed to resemble Comiskey Park, the home of the White Sox between 1910 and 1990.
Building the ballpark has required the moving of 30,000 cubic yards of material and the installation of 4,000 tonnes of sand and 2,000 tonnes of pea gravel under the Bluegrass blend. The unique game in a cornfield will see a corn maze located beyond the right field fence, near the Field of Dreams Movie Site, which will form part of an immersive fan experience.
Iowa-based Musco Lighting is providing a first-of-its-kind LED system that will also spotlight much of the 159 acres of corn that surround the ballpark. The right field fence has a unique design that accentuates the corn through a fine mesh seven-foot high green chain link fence with offset vertical support posts – meaning the posts will be in the corn.
The stalks that produce field corn will grow 10-12 feet high and a manual scoreboard will be in the corn just behind the right field fence.
Field of Dreams stars Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Amy Madigan. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1990 and tells the story of Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, a husband and father who is tending to his cornfield when he hears a mysterious voice intone, “If you build it, he will come.”
According to the American Film Institute (AFI), those words are the 39th top film quote of all-time.
Images: MLB Photos