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Even One Year Out, 'Field of Dreams' Game is Big Business

21 Aug, 2019

By: Michael Popke
Vendors in Iowa Corn Country Already Prepping for Massive Influx of Tourism

The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox won’t play the first-ever Major League Baseball game at the famous “Field of Dreams” in Dyersville, Iowa, until next August. But local businesses already are gearing up for what they hope will be an economic home run.

The chamber of commerce in Dyersville (2017 population: 4,220) has been inundated with phone calls about tickets to the game, which will take place Aug. 13, 2020, in an 8,000-seat park that will be constructed on the set of the 1989 film, Field of Dreams.

“With each call that comes, the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, Karla Thompson, answers pleasantly and sincerely,” reports KGAN-TV, a CBS affiliate in Cedar Rapids. “Thompson doesn’t know when tickets will be on sale or how much they will sell for, but she does know it’s the Major League Baseball organization who will be taking the lead on that part of the event. It’s what she tells those who call, as she converses with them about their plans if they do manage to get tickets.”

“We’re hearing that people are going to come early and kind of check out the state; check out the town,”Thompson told the TV station. “So we’re thinking it’s going to be a big economic impact.”

“My customer base is more out of town people,” added Heidi Huisman, owner of Savvy Salvage in Dyersville. “An extra boom for us will get us through the winter season, when in January and February, sometimes you may as well close up shop.”

In Dubuque, which is less than 30 miles from Dyersville, tourism officials also report brisk business.

“As soon as this went public, the hotels were swamped with phone calls about their availability for that time, and a lot of them are scrambling,” Travel Dubuque CEO Keith Rahe told KCRG-TV, an ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids. “Some of them don’t book … a year out, and they’re scrambling to get the rates correct and all the services that they can provide.”

He added that he expects more than just people with tickets to visit the area during the week of the game. 

“There’s going to be all this other activity that’s going on — you know, viewing parties, fan fest, all different kinds of things,” Rahe said. “So there’s going to be a lot of activity for people here to see and do, even if you don’t get tickets to the game.” 

“I think it’s going to be great for all of the restaurants around here, all the bars around here, all of our little shops,” added Textile Brewing Company owner Carol Olberding, whose business also is based in Dyersville. “It’s just going to all come together.”

Construction of the temporary ballpark on the “Field of Dreams” site was slated to begin in mid-August, KCRG reports.

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