Field of Dreams site sold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Field of Dreams site sold


The eastern Iowa site made famous by the movie "Field of Dreams" has been sold.

The owners of the property near Dyersville, Don and Becky Lansing, announced Sunday morning they had accepted an offer from Go the Distance Baseball LLC, an investment group based in Chicago.

Company owners, Mike and Denise Stillman, said they plan on preserving the site and developing a baseball and softball complex, called All-Star Ballpark Heaven.

The Lansings had put the land up for sale in May 2010 at $5.4 million. The actual final purchase price was not disclosed.

The sale includes the two-bedroom house, baseball diamond, six outbuildings and 193 acres made famous in the 1989 movie.

The Lansings have said they were committed to finding a buyer that would preserve its legacy.

Go the Distance co-owner Denise Stillman said she's excited about the prospects for the site.

"This project is very attractive to us because we understand the impact that demographics, market trends, and the economy will have on baseball and those who love the game in the next decade," Denise Stillman said in a media release Sunday. "We look forward to working with our new neighbors, business leaders throughout Iowa, and others who will benefit from the team's work."

Don Lansing said there's some sadness in selling the place.

"Most of the land has been in my family for over a century, but I don't think leaving will be too hard," he said in the media release. "We just plan to live a few short miles away, so we'll still come and visit, especially in summer when the corn is high. That's when the field is most magical. And the Stillmans intend to keep it just that way."

Sunday afternoon, the Buresh family visited the field of dreams. They're from Illinois, near the Quad Cities, and had never before been to the location.

"You almost have an eerie feeling being here, because it is just like it showed in the movie...everything's the same," dad Joe Buresh said. "It's almost like you want to go out and have a baseball game right now."

He was there with his wife and two of his children and said the family watches "Field of Dreams" about three times a year.

"Hopefully the new owners will keep the place open and keep it looking like it is now and for everybody to enjoy in the future," he said.

Local filmmaker Joe Scherrman made a documentary about the field's ghost players. He learned the news of the sale Sunday morning in the New York Times online.

He had been interviewed by a New York Times reporter for what was supposed to be a story about how the Field of Dreams hadn't yet sold. Come Sunday morning, however, the news broke: it has sold.

In the paper, which Scherrman then bought, the story was on the front page of the sports section.

"I'm flabbergasted," Scherrman said. "I spent the next two hours e-mailing people, everybody I knew, that the Field of Dreams is actually sold, because it is going to be huge, huge for Dyersville. It's going to be huge for Dubuque! I actually came to Dubuque here to buy this paper because I couldn't get it in Dyersville."

He said the softball and baseball complex will likely attract a lot of business and tourism into the area.

"They could have ball teams come in from all over the United States and probably all over the world."

For those who enjoy the Field of Dreams and all it espouses about the love of baseball, it is a relief to hear the movie site, in all its simplicity, will remain as is.

The sports complex will be built elsewhere on the land.

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