COLUMN: Seeing the field might be a dream

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

Most every baseball fan in Eastern Iowa, if not the entire nation, has heard the news by now.

     The first-ever Major League Baseball game to be played in Iowa has been scheduled: New York Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox, on Aug. 13, 2020 at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville.

     I’m as excited as anyone else around here, but that excitement is tempered by the following:

     • Based on Facebook posts, regular conversation and news coverage, I’m quite sure they could sell 50,000 tickets for this event. Trouble is, the temporary stadium being built for this occasion will only hold 8,000.

     Which probably means a lottery. I’m guessing that, sometime over the winter, the White Sox (the host team for the game) will post applications for tickets, much the way the NFL does for the Super Bowl or the NCAA does for the Final Four. Luck of the draw will determine who does, or does not, get tickets.

     • Tickets prices might be close to what they charge for the Super Bowl or Final Four. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but maybe not by much. We may not know that for several months, but it will be interesting.

     Now, a couple of things to clear up about the game:

     • It will NOT be played on the actual field used in the movie. That field would be nowhere near up to MLB specifications, and I suspect remodeling it for this game would irrevocably damage its initial “look,” and maybe its appeal as a tourist site.

     Instead, a new field will be constructed adjacent to the movie field, reportedly as a model of the old Comiskey Park, surrounded by temporary bleachers.

     • The game will count in the MLB standings. The White Sox are giving up one of their home games to host it. The date falls on a Thursday, and the teams will have that Friday off before returning to Chicago to play the final two games of a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday.

     By the way, I love this idea. Anything that shakes things up in MLB, not to mention bringing national attention to a town just 20 miles from us, is exciting.

     There was a game in 2004 between the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) and Florida (now Miami) Marlins that was moved to U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago because of a hurricane threat in Miami.

     I remember thinking how cool that was, and weighed whether it was worth the trip to see a unique contest. I didn’t do it, but it was cool anyway.

     This is different, of course, because it is being scheduled a year in advance. It’s a great way to honor a great movie, at a great site, and for MLB to make history in Iowa.

     A whole lot of people around here will want to go; only a small percentage will get to. I’d love to be one of them.



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