DYERSVILLE — When Frank Thomas and his partners purchased the “Field of Dreams” movie site a year ago, they outlined a wide range of plans for the rural Iowa tourist attraction.
They hoped to turn it into a youth baseball and softball complex that one day would also have a hotel.
But one thing it won’t include next year: a Major League Baseball game.
Thomas said MLB won’t be back in 2023 for another regular season game at the specially constructed stadium near the iconic diamond from the 1989 film, though it remains possible that games will return in future years.
Construction on the youth complex that Thomas’ company is building begins later this year and will prevent MLB from making a return for a third straight season.
“It’s a lot going on,” Thomas told the Des Moines Register on Wednesday in Dyersville. “They don’t want to come back if the stadium’s not prepared.”
Future MLB games at the site could be a key to its profitability. A feasibility study funded by Travel Dubuque projected the site would draw 136,000 visitors a year, create 81 jobs, host 62 events and generate $9.1 million in investment in the first year after the stadium is built.
However, the study projects that about two-thirds of the stadium’s economic impact would come from an annual MLB Field of Dreams game, and the league has not guaranteed a game beyond Thursday, when the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs will play.
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