There is no joy in Mudville, goes the famous poem “Casey at the Bat.” There also will be no joy in Dyersville, Iowa in 2023, as the Field of Dreams complex will not host a Major League Baseball game.
Construction on a youth baseball and softball complex was cited as the reason for the tourist attraction not hosting a game next year. The first MLB game was a sensational hit (the 2022 game is tomorrow), making the decision not to host another one strange.
Former MLB slugger Frank Thomas made the announcement that the specially constructed stadium at the site, located near the iconic field from 1989 Kevin Costner film, will not host a game. He held out the possibility of future events, but made no promises.
“It’s a lot going on,” Thomas told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday in Dyersville. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium’s not prepared.”
A previous study on the site predicted that two-thirds of the economic impact of the stadium at the site would come from an annual MLB game there. What may be its final game at the location will be held Thursday between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.
The first MLB game at the site between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox was the most-watched regular season baseball game in the previous 16 years.
Field of Dreams actor Costner emerged from the corn before the game, with the two teams following, a dramatic and emotional moment for fans of the film and the sport.
This week, two Iowa teams, the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Quad Cities River Bandits,also faced off in the first Minor League Baseball game at the site.
Earlier this week, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced another round of public funding to build a permanent stadium at the site. The field used by MLB and MiLB is temporary, with much of the seating and other amenities coming down after the game ends.
Reynolds plans to allocate $12.5 million to This is Iowa Ballpark, the nonprofit building the stadium.//
A group headed by Hall of Famer and former Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas purchased a controlling interest in the All-Star Ballpark Heaven and the Field of Dreams movie site last year. This is Heaven LLC is a venture between Thomas and Chicago real estate developer and entrepreneur Rick Heidner, an initial investor in Go the Distance Baseball.
The site being purchased included about 190 acres, including a working cornfield.