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With game postponed, Field of Dreams lies fallow

Field of Dreams Ballpark rendering

With the 2020 Field of Dreams game at a custom-built ballpark outside Dyersville, IA, canceled and potentially rescheduled for the 2021 season, the temporary ballpark is being dismantled and will be reconstructed next year at the scenic movie site.

As it turned out, canceling this year’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals was the right move, with the Cardinals season indefinitely shut down because of COVID-19 outbreak among team players and staffers. Originally the New York Yankees were scheduled as the opponent, but the St. Louis Cardinals were substituted after MLB’s overhauled 60-game season was released.

And while MLB said the plan was to play the game in 2021, much of the temporary facility is being torn down and returned to vendors; the stands, for instance, were rentals and scheduled to be returned after the Aug. 13 anyway. So the ballpark construction will begin anew next year.

MLB and many fans had high hopes for the game. A pathway through a cornfield will take fans to the ballpark, which will overlook the famous movie location. The right-field wall will include windows to show the cornfields beyond the ballpark. Aspects of the ballpark’s design will pay homage to Chicago’s Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox from 1910-1990, including the shape of the outfield and bullpens beyond the center field fence.

Field of Dreams, the big-screen adaptation of the W.P. Kinsella novel Shoeless Joe, was released to acclaim in 1989 with a cast that included stars Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones, and Amy Madigan. It has remained popular with baseball and movie fans alike, and a field has been left intact at the production site, allowing it to become a sought-out tourist destination. Since 1989, the Lansing Family Farm, which was used in the movie, has been a popular tourist attraction, 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 began working with MLB in 2015, culminating in plans for this special game.

Rendering courtesy MLB.

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