Shoeless Joe Jackson: »Is this heaven?«

Ray Kinsella: »No. It’s Iowa.«

On May 13, 2010, almost a year ago, Don and Becky Lansing, the owners of one special property in Iowa, USA decided that they had enough. They were determined that the sale of property was the best solution. The land has been in Lansing family for more than a century, but the couple was ready to retire and gave up the property. The asking price: $5.4 million.

If you had seen the movie Field of Dreams (1989) you probably guessed which property is that. It’s the site near small town Dyersville in Iowa, which was the focal point of the movie. It’s the land on which Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) built a baseball field, after he had heard a voice in his corn that had told him, »If you build it, he will come.«

Cornfield from Field of Dreams (1989, Universal Studios, screen capture)

Universal Studios built the baseball field on an actual farm in Dyersville in just four days during the summer of 1988. After the filming was completed, the Lansing family kept the field. They added a small store where visitors could buy some souvenirs and refreshments. As of 1990, all visitors were free to come to the field and play baseball as they please. The field became a living piece of movie history.

The Lansing family has a merchandising agreement with Universal. The agreement is not transferable, but they said that they’re willing to assist the buyer in securing a new agreement. The owners didn’t commercialize the property; however 65,000 people, on average, come to visit the field each year (that’s almost 300 per day – the field is opened from April to November).

Baseball field from Field of Dreams (1989, Universal Studios, screen capture)

So, what’s there for the new owners? Besides the baseball field you’ll get 193 acres of land, 7 buildings with two of them from 1800s, and more than sixty thousand visitors annually. The land also includes the mystical cornfield where the ghosts of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and “Moonlight” Graham and others emerge to play ball.

If you can’t imagine what it feels like when you come to the field of dreams read this commentary from djkint89 that was posted on TripAdvisor:

“The Field of Dreams has been on my bucket list for a long time so I finally went this past weekend with my 15 year old son. I wondered if the magic was still at the field since it has been 20 years since the movie first came out. We’ll I’m providing this post to say the magic is still at the field. We were in awe of the field and when we got there we immediately grabbed our gloves and bat and headed to the field.

We spent over three hours playing ball and recreating movie scenes with the video camera. Everyone was very friendly and courteous and all ages were taking turns batting. The field was perfect, the seven foot high corn lined the outfield, the outfield grass was green and soft, the farm and house are still exactly like in the movie.

The memories of the three hours spent with my son on the field will be with me for the rest of my life. If you have a son that loves baseball, load them in the car and go to Iowa.”

Aerial view of the Field of Dreams

The property in located near Dyersville, a small town of approximately 4,000 people situated a half-hour west of Dubuque in Iowa. The city has benefited from the attraction, which provides a boost to the area’s economy. Here’s Field of Dreams movie site at Google Maps.

The Field of Dreams movie site is an excellent example of using movie location for tourism, which is also known as set-jetting. The tourists who make travel plans based on their favorite films are known as “set jetters“. According to the Annals of Tourism Research, when a location is featured in a successful film, the number of visitors rises by more than half over four years.

During the last twenty years hundreds of thousands of movie fans have visited the site, played ball, bought some souvenirs and had fun. Today, the property is still on sale and the owners don’t consider lowering the price. $5.4 million is a lot of money, but on the other hand the Field of Dreams generated millions of priceless happy moments.

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