Shortened MLB season leads to questions about status of Field of Dreams game
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - As he got the Field of Dreams ready for a youth baseball game Wednesday, Roman Weinberg was waiting for word on whether or not a professional game would happen there this season too.
“I’d like to think it would happen, yes,” he said.
Major League Baseball announced Aug. 8, 2019, that it would be holding its first-ever game in Iowa on Aug. 13, 2020, in a matchup between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees at the “Fields of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville. But the status of the game has remained uncertain since most sports came to a halt this spring because of the coronavirus.
Now, with Major League Baseball announcing Tuesday that it’ll play a shortened, 60-game schedule, the question shifts to whether the Field of Dreams game fits into that schedule.
Weinberg, the director of operations for Go the Distance Baseball, the group that runs the “Field of Dreams” site, said the decision isn’t theirs to make.
“We will be hearing from Major League Baseball, I’m sure, within the week,” he said.
MLB said in a statement sent to KCRG-TV9, “To date, there has been no change in the status of the event, and we hope to have the option to play. Construction is continuing, and we are following all CDC and state protocols regarding recommended safety practices including social distancing, washing hands, and temperature checks before arriving to the site. Safeguarding public health is our top priority. We are monitoring ongoing events and plan to remain as flexible as these circumstances demand.”
While crews are still working to construct the temporary, 8,000-seat stadium next to the Field of Dreams, Keith Rahe of Travel Dubuque said they expect the game to bring in a lot more visitors to the area than that.
“We anticipated there being 10 times that many people in the area,” he said. “The response for that game has been overwhelming.”
In the meantime, Weinberg said just the hype surrounding the game has already brought more attention to the attraction, which he said averages over 100,000 visitors annually.
“From a marketing perspective and the spotlight that’s being shed on the community, the state of Iowa, and our movie site is a blessing and something that we’ll definitely take advantage of,” he said.
Both Weinberg and Rahe believe the Field of Dreams game will happen eventually, even if it’s not in 2020.
“They wouldn’t make that type of investment if, some time, either hopefully this year, or down the road, that they’re going to play there,” Rahe said.
Until then, he’s just glad baseball’s almost back.
“If this game at the field is a part of that, that’s even better,” Rahe said.
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