If You Build It, They Will Come
If you build it, they will come.
That famous line was delivered in the blockbuster hit Field of Dreams, and it’s exactly what Denise Stillman believes when she talks about plans for the new All-Star Ballpark Heaven in Dyersville, Iowa.
Stillman and her husband Mike, along with several other investors, acquired the land from former owners Don and Becky Lansing. Their vision is to create the newest travel baseball and softball destination for kids across the country and around the world.
Today, the famous field from the movie, complete with rows of corn in the outfield, stands as a tourist site. It’s a landmark Denise Stillman did not want to see deserted.
“Our initial driving force was to make sure the Field of Dreams movie site was preserved,” Stillman said. “The former owners were looking to retire and they needed someone to care for the land. We created a wonderful business that would help support that tourism business. They just couldn’t sell enough T-shirts and coffee mugs and hats to keep the farm going on its own and keep it relevant.”
The project is scheduled to get rolling in March with initial construction slated for June so the park can be ready by June 2014. Weekend tournaments will fill 16 weeks of the season, and weeklong events where the players will stay onsite will fill the remaining 13 weeks.
When the park opens in 2014 it will feature 12 fields and 60 clubhouses. The original field and farm from Field of Dreams will be kept a tourist site for the teams and patrons.
“The movie is almost 25 years old, and the kids who are coming in the next generation, we wanted to keep them connected to the movie,” Stillman said. “It’s wonderful to create a children-focused business right next to the movie site. It just made sense to put travel baseball and softball right next to the movie site.”
The plans are for All-Star Ballpark Heaven to feature 24 fields along with a huge training dome you might see NFL teams using.
Corn will also have a special part at All-Star Ballpark Heaven. Staying true to the movie, players and coaches will even have to walk through rows of corn to get to their ballfield.
“The major draw is to have a unique facility that’s nestled in and surrounded by corn just like in the movie,” Stillman said. “The goal is to have as many of the outfields be ringed by corn. So the concept of All-Star Ballpark Heaven is a continuation or what viewers didn’t see in the movie, what’s inside the corn.”
Kids will be treated like stars with clubhouses that look just like you would see in the Major Leagues. Each clubhouse will have air conditioning for those hot Iowa summer days, equipment will be hung up in wooden cubbies with their name above, and there’s even a special perk for coaches: no more twin bunk beds!
Go to AllStarBallparkHeaven.com to learn more about the new youth travel baseball facility, and it’s not too early to reserve a spot for the inaugural season!
What To Expect at All-Star Ballpark Heaven
**Meals, Clubhouse lodging, laundry service and access to training facilities
**Ballpark Bucks for use at the Field of Dreams movie site
**Guaranteed seven game on MLB-quality fields turf infields designed by Chicago White Sox groundskeeper Roger Bossard, nicknamed “The Sodfather”
**Video coverage of your team’s All-Star experience
**Athlete jerseys, hats, socks, practice gear and more
*Passes and special deals at family attractions in the Dyersville and surrounding areas