A decade ago, Go the Distance Baseball formed to preserve the Iowa farm site where the 1989 movie Field of Dreams was filmed. The farmhouse can be rented or toured, and the venue includes a souvenir shop, ballpark concessions, and a field where visitors can have a catch. It’s expected to attract about 300,000 visitors this year.
Recently, the venue’s new owners unveiled a plan to build a youth baseball and softball destination for players, fans, and tourists, while preserving the cornfield setting and working farm. With $80 million in private investment, the master plan will almost double the site’s size—adding almost 100 acres to the original 190-acre footprint of the former Lansing family farm and movie site. The project will include nine new ballfields, dormitories for teams, and a boutique hotel, all slated to be completed in phases by the end of 2023.
“While the substantial private investment will expand and enhance our facilities, we are deeply committed to preserving the romantic experience of the Field of Dreams, including the views, the baseball diamond, the farmhouse, and the cornfields. Those images will never change,” COO Dan Evans, a longtime executive for five MLB franchises, said in a statement.
Additional phases through 2025 will include 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 trails through the cornfields. When fully completed, the development will create about 170 new full-time-equivalent jobs. Area residents can have member access to the indoor fieldhouse and a training facility for year-round recreation.
“Preserving and enhancing one of Iowa’s top tourism destinations makes this project a win-win for the local and state economies,” Keith Rahe, president and CEO of Travel Dubuque, said in a statement.
Owner: Go the Distance Baseball, LLC
Owner’s representative: Leopardo Companies
Design architect and architect of record: RDG Planning & Design
MEP engineer: KCL Engineers
Structural engineer: Origin Design