DYERSVILLE, Iowa – In the middle of an Iowa cornfield, a dream has come true for fans of Major League Baseball.
The city of Dyersville on Thursday is hosting the “Field of Dreams” game, a matchup between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. It also serves as the first-ever regular-season MLB game played on Iowa soil.
“Field of Dreams,” the 1989 Kevin Costner flick, was filmed in Dyersville. The well-kept movie set is now just steps away from the stadium built for Thursday night, designed to resemble Chicago’s old Comiskey Park.
The game was originally set to take place in 2020, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, thousands of fans from Iowa and across the U.S. have descended on Dyersville for the history-making moment.
For the game, MLB sold 8,000 tickets exclusively to Iowa residents through a lottery. However, tickets have been resold online for more than $1,000 – some tickets on StubHub have ballooned to $10,000.
“I may not be able to afford to buy the tickets, but I can work,” Larry Bailey said.
Bailey, a Kentucky resident, said he was unable to get a ticket, so he and his wife applied to work as game day staff to be near the action.
“When I stepped off the grass and onto the dirt, I really expected something magical to happen, and it felt like it did,” he said.
The temporary stadium for Thursday’s game, which can seat 8,000 fans, was designed to resemble Chicago’s old Comiskey Park. (Stephen Goin)
MLB Chief Operations and Strategy Officer Chris Marinak said the stadium built for the “Field of Dreams” game was designed to make elements of the movie a reality.
“The in-person experience was really meant to bring to life the integration of the game and the movie, so you’ll be able to go the movie site house and field. If you brought your glove, you can play catch on the movie field and you can actually walk through the corn from the movie set to this field,” Marinak said.
In downtown Dyersville, restaurants including Textile brewing Company prepared for increased traffic from “Field of Dreams” visitors. Owner Tom Olberding said he expanded outdoor seating in hopes of serving as many people as possible.
“It’s probably going to help us for years to come, people watching the game and realizing this town is here,” Olberding said.
With hotels filled in Dyersville, neighboring towns and cities also benefited from the “Field of Dreams” game with guests looking for a place to stay. Tana Guetzko, the owner of Lakeview Living and Big G’s Campground in nearby Delhi, said one guest booked a campsites two years ago for Thursday’s game.
“It’s unheard of to do a Major League Baseball game in a town this small, we hope everybody likes the quaintness and the people,” Guetzko said. “We’re very excited, this is history that’s being made.”
Tana Guetzko (left), who owns Lakeview Living and Big G’s Campground in nearby Delhi, said one guest booked her campsite two years ago for the “Field of Dreams” game. (Stephen Goin)
Guetzko said her 100-site campground was nearly full. Jennifer Martin, a manager for Guetzko’s properties, said she has had to turn down potential visitors this week but hopes to welcome them back to the area soon.
“We’ve had multiple phone calls, text messages, emails… people are wanting to be in the area even if they don’t have tickets, they’re wanting to be here for the atmosphere of the game,” Martin said.