Asmussen | Iconic Cinema Site Worth the Price of Admission | Sports

DYERSVILLE, Iowa – If you build it, Bob will come…eventually. It only took me 33 years.

The baseball classic “Field of Dreams” was released in 1989. Ever since I first saw it at Cineplex, my goal was to visit the actual field.

It’s not far. Four hours from CU on a combination of freeways, four-lane freeways, and two-lane freeways. You can go back and forth during the day while respecting the speed limits.

In fact, I had an excuse to go. My nephew, Matty, played there in a youth tournament with his Edwardsville-based team, the Gators.

Their first four games took place on two courts in Dyersville, a nearby town of 4,131 people. If they made it to the finals (which they did), they got to play on the actual film pitch. Really cool.

The setting is idyllic, almost too good to be true. In the middle of rolling farmland, the site seems to rise from the ground.

It was a treat for the players and their families, which they will remember for a lifetime.

Would it have been so fun for the players if they hadn’t been able to experience a game on the real pitch? Yet, yes.

They spent time at the facility earlier, including taking turns popping out of corn like in “Field of Dreams.” Cameras and VCRs buzzed.

The timing couldn’t have been better. The corn is tall and bright green. A visit in the fall before the corn has had time to sprout would not be as pleasant.

Pack them in

My family watched the movie recently, which was new for our kids. Two thumbs up.

We knew we were going to make the trip, so the film served as a primer.

James Earl Jones character Terence Mann suggests that baseball fans will come from far and wide to see the place, handing over cash without a break. A nice thought, but not quite the way it works.

At the door, there is a “suggested” donation of $20 per car. Yes, I voluntarily paid, so Mr. Mann was right. Although I heard there were a few squawkers. Probably some of those tightwads from Wisconsin.

There are all kinds of ways to deposit money on the movie site. You can spend a night on the farm starting at $500. There are house tours for $20.

Of course, there is a concession stand and a gift shop. Yes, I bought a shirt. Cha Ching.

The film site must be good for the local economy. Restaurants and gas stations in Dyersville were booming. And hotels in Dubuque, Iowa, 26 miles away, were packed for the weekend at a preferential rate.

To their credit, the people on the site are more than friendly. They don’t push you around and never say, “You can’t go. You’ve paid your $20, so you’ve got the run of the place. The film field is available for a capture game or base run game when there is no scheduled game playing.

Just beyond the corn, a separate, larger field has been constructed for an upcoming MLB game. On August 11, the Cubs and Reds will play the second game at the facility, following last year’s White Sox-Yankees game. There are tickets available on StubHub, with the lowest price at $888. Tickets cost up to $7,777.

I’ll wait for the Braves to play there.

Also on the list

There are other active movie sites you can visit in the United States

The bosses are reminiscent of Knightstown, Ind., the real home of fictional Hickory from “Hoosiers.”

This looks like another must-have. I’ve played at Hinkle Fieldhouse before which was great.

True to the sports theme, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-see to recreate the scene where “Rocky” runs up the steps. It was great, even though I didn’t run much.

If you know of any other famous movie sites, let me know where they are. I will try to visit them all.

Or, better yet, one of the local communities must attract a studio to the area. “Animal House 2” would work great on the Illinois campus. How about “Oceans 14” at the new Danville Casino? Maybe “Caddyshack 3: Spaulding’s Revenge” at one of the country clubs in the area?


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