The owners of the “Field of Dreams” movie site hope to draw scores of youth baseball and softball teams with the unveiling of a new master plan for the grounds this week.
Go the Distance, which owns and operators the site, announced Thursday morning an $80 million private investment to build youth baseball and softball fields, team dormitories and a hotel, among other improvements to the grounds.
"I am grateful for all that the game of baseball gave me throughout my career," Hall of Famer and Go the Distance CEO Frank Thomas said in a statement provided to the Des Moines Register, "and now I am proud and excited to lead a team that is building opportunities for players, fans and families to enjoy our national pastime and for teams to train and compete."
The work is expected to be complete by the end of the 2023, with other projects in the planning stages.
Go the Distance hopes to have Major League Baseball return to the site after last season’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees, which proved to be the most-watched regular season baseball game in 16 years. This year, the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds are set to play a game at the site on Aug. 11.
According to the press release provided to the Register, future MLB games are being discussed, along with a permanent stadium to host the games at the complex. The stadium could also host high school and college tournaments and championships for men's and women's sports.
Additional work at the site includes a 100,000-square-foot fieldhouse, an outdoor concert amphitheater, an RV park, a large park inclusive for children and adults with disabilities and jogging trail throughout the cornfields surrounding site. The work is expected to be compelted by 2025.
Go the Distance expects the development will add 170 new full-time equivalent jobs and that events held there will result in more than $25 million in direct annual spending. Go the Distance's property, which added 100 acres to the original 190 acres of the family farm and movie site, will also continue working as a farm.