It’s still a year away but the first-ever Major League game to be played at the iconic “field of dreams” in Iowa corn country is already a home run in terms of publicity. An 8,000-seat park will be built on the site of the famous set – and tickets are already at a premium.
And the small town (population 4,220) of Dyersville is already gearing up for what is likely to be its biggest year since the movie came out in 1989.
The game itself will involve the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, and will be played on August 13, 2020. And it’s easy to believe the 8,000 seats in the stadium are going to be in high demand. Reports indicate the Dyersville Chamber of Commerce has been getting nonstop calls about the game.
Construction of the temporary ballpark on the “Field of Dreams” site was slated to begin in mid-August, KCRG reports. And members of the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) are involved.
Adjacent to the original Field of Dreams, a new stadium and playing surface will be constructed from scratch to ensure MLB standards are met. In total, 17 acres of the cornfield will require grading to accommodate the infrastructure. The field will be a sand-based natural grass system with a complete underdrain system. A fully automatic irrigation system will also be installed to manage the bluegrass sodded field.
BrightView will oversee the installation of new foul poles, bullpens, a batter’s eye and backstop net while BaAm will build the temporary seating, locker rooms, media and press box areas in conjunction with Populous. The majority of the sitework and subbase system will be completed this fall. In the spring of 2020, USGA modified rootzone materials and sod will be added with an estimated completion date of mid-July. Following the historic contest, the field will remain with fencing included.
Construction and maintenance of the field as well as site grading will be overseen by BrightView, the nation’s leading landscape services company and Major League Baseball’s sports turf consultant. Each BrightView employee on the project is an STMA member. Nearly a dozen members of STMA will form the team responsible for ensuring the field upholds the standards of a typical MLB venue on game night.
"Sports Field managers ensure safe playing fields where athletes at all levels can achieve their dreams day in and day out" says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “This will be an historic event and we are looking forward to working with our Iowa chapter to make it a great experience for the thousands in attendance and the millions watching from around the world."
"This is a very special project,” says Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf and past President of STMA. "Everything will be built from scratch; from the pitcher’s mound, to the outfield, to the entire ballpark itself. Being the first MLB game in Iowa, we are especially pleased to have many ‘Iowans’ on our construction and maintenance teams to assist with the project.”
Next year’s Field of Dreams game is the latest venture between BrightView and MLB. BrightView’s’ team maintained and prepared the playing surface for the London Series between the Yankees and Red Sox earlier this season.