Dubuque preparing for upcoming MLB Field of Dreams tourist boom
It's not every day Major League Baseball plays a game of baseball in Dubuque's backyard.
With the first official game happening in Dyersville in August 2020, Dubuque is preparing for the tourism and buzz that is sure to come with the game.
Keith Rahe, president and CEO of Travel Dubuque, said the tourism boom Dubuque will get from the game is incomparable to anything else.
"As an organization, as a destination marketing organization, and this area, you can't put a price tag on the brand and the recognition that we're getting with this event," Rahe said.
Rahe and Travel Dubuque have been prepping for the big day for months. Rahe said it is a project that will come together over a culmination of a lot of time.
"It's a work in progress," Rahe said.
With a special eye on hotels and restaurants in the area, Rahe said that there is no worry that they will be able to handle the crowds.
"They get what it takes to be successful and they know they have to step their game up with this kind of stuff, and you know they will," Rahe said.
While some kinks are expected with traffic and crowds, the city is welcoming the uptick in tourism with open arms.
"[Crowds are] a good problem to have," Rahe said.
Out at the Field of Dreams site, construction is ahead of schedule. While there is still about seven months until fans fill the field for the first official MLB game, lights for the game were put up during the past week.
The rest of the construction on the stadium and field are set to start up again when the winter weather clears.
Roman Weinberg, director of baseball operations for Go the Distance, said that surrounding cities, like Dyersville and Dubuque, have made the process that much easier.
"They're very accommodating," Weinberg said. "It's been incredible to see the support and all of the effort and work put in from local communities, the county, and the state of Iowa as well."
Rahe hopes the anticipation around this game lives up to its most famous line.
"James Earl Jones in the movie said 'if you build it they will come,' and people have," Rahe said.
The game will be played on August 13, 2020 between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.