"Field of Dreams," a sports fantasy drama film, hit a home run with baseball fans and moviegoers back in 1989. Yet, did you know that the film’s ballpark, which was constructed in a cornfield in Iowa, still exists? Yes, it was built, and people can still come here!
Known as the “Field of Dreams Movie Site,” this baseball attraction not only reflects the movie's setting but is also where the film was recorded. The venue is located on the grounds of what was once a century-old family farm in Dyersville, Iowa., with the idyllic baseball diamond situated across from a farmhouse.
The Story Behind The Film
According to IMDB, this Universal Pictures movie, starring Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, and James Earl Jones, is based on W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel, “Shoeless Joe.” The film version has Kevin Costner as Iowa-based farmer Ray Kinsella, who is encouraged by a lingering voice to transform part of his family farm’s cornfield into a baseball field. He is beckoned by what he hears - “If you build it, he will come.”
After Ray creates this field, ballplayers from the sport's past begin to emerge from the cornfield to play a game. As the film progresses, Ray begins to engage more with these players–among them, actor Burt Lancaster in his final film role–but his farm and personal life begin to suffer. Yet, in the end, the baseball field was kept intact.
According to a Des Moines Register article, Universal Studios developed the baseball field on the properties of two farm owners - the Lansings and the Ameskamp family - to make the film a famous place. After the film, both families kept promoting their sides of the field. In 2007, the Lansings would later buy out the Ameskamps’ portion. Then in 2011, the Lansings sold their property to Go the Distance Baseball, LLC, which still owns the “Field of Dreams Movie Site.” The company plans to build up the site as a premier youth baseball and softball destination while still preserving the idyllic cornfield.
MLB Comes To Iowa
Since then, this “Field of Dreams” has been open to the public as a tourist attraction. In August 2021, the MLB introduced an inaugural “MLB at Field of Dreams” game at the site, in which the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox played against each other. Both the Yankees and Red Sox were chosen for the game because in the film “Field of Dreams,” the teams were whom Costner’s character’s father rooted for at different times in his life.
Similar to the film, both teams came out for the game by walking through the surrounding cornfield. Each team’s players wore throwback jerseys resembling what their team’s uniforms looked like back in 1919. Kevin Costner was also there that night. According to this CNN article, the matchup was originally scheduled to happen in 2020, but it was postponed to the following year due to the pandemic.
In 2022, MLB is again putting on another “MLB at Field of Dreams” game at the “Field of Dreams Movie Site." This year, the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds will take the field on Thursday, August 11. Two days prior to that night game, on August 9, the minor league teams, Quad Cities River Bandits and Cedar Rapids Kernels, will play against each other at the ballpark. Tickets were made available for purchase to the public; for more information, visit this website.
Along with hosting these professional baseball games, the “Field of Dreams Movie Site” will be the location for the “ACO Go the Distance Festival,” taking place from Friday, August 26, through Sunday, August 28, 2022. They will host this first-ever corn hole tournament, which will consist of doubles competitions.
Learn More About The Field's Location
Fans can also experience the “Field of Dreams Movie Site” in other ways. There is no charge for entry, but there are costs for tours, rentals, and related merchandise. There's also a concession stand for purchasing something to eat or drink.
Visitors can go on a guided tour of the farmhouse, which lasts half an hour and tells the story of the Lansing family, the home’s previous owners, and how their farm partly became the setting for the 1989 movie. A virtual tour is also available for a fee; the home is also available for rentals where fans with a love for the movie and the game can pay to spend the night. Please note that in timing with the 2022 "MLB at Field of Dreams" game, sight tours will be unavailable.
At times, the Ghost Players, an amusing bunch of baseball players, will have their respective game season. These players are described as acting similarly to the Harlem Globetrotters during their time on the field, so those in attendance are bound to have a great day at the ballpark.
If fans wish to fulfill their dreams of playing ball or even a game of catch onsite, the ballfield itself can be rented.
The “Field of Dreams Movie Site” also contains “Baseballism,” a gift shop that is stocked with a plethora of baseball-related items. The store’s inventory includes bobbleheads, caps, shirts, leather baseballs, canvas totes, and souvenir programs. The property also has an event center that was one of the original onsite barns, which dates back to the 1870s.
- Location: 28995 Lansing Road, Dyersville, Iowa 52040
- Hours: See their website for hours and ticket availability for events.