Iowa will have to wait a little longer for the Field of Dreams Game to return to the state. Following popular games at the Field of Dreams venue in Dyersville in 2021 and 2022, renovations at the famous locale led to the cancellation of the game this season.
Major League Baseball announced recently that Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL, will host the mid-season game in 2024, sometime around the Juneteenth holiday. The teams for the game have been announced: San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.
That means Iowans will not see a regular season MLB game in their state until at least 2025. No official announcement has been made about the site of the 2025 game.
Youth fields and amphitheater being added at Field of Dreams complex
The annual Field of Dreams game was a popular game for Iowans to bet on. They were able to bet on the two MLB games played there in 2021 and 2022. Iowa online sports betting has been brisk the last few years and includes betting on MLB odds despite there being no MLB teams in Iowa.
The Dyersville diamond was the filming location for the 1989 movie, “Field of Dreams,” starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, and James Earl Jones. The field was created for the movie and quickly became a tourist attraction for baseball fans.
Many of them make a pilgrimage to Dyersville. The field sits adjacent to a farmhouse and smack dab in the middle of several acres of corn. Visitors can play baseball on the field. But three years ago, MLB scheduled an actual regular season game there, billed as the “Field of Dreams Game.” The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 game, however.
In 2021, MLB sent the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees to Iowa to play in the game, which was broadcast nationally in primetime. In that contest, Tim Anderson of the White Sox slugged a dramatic walk-off home run into the cornfield. Iowans couldn’t have been happier at that result.
Last year, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the second annual game. The MLB added seating and amenities to the venue to make it playable for MLB teams. Now, however, an $80 renovation project to add several new youth fields, an RV park, dorms, a fieldhouse, a hotel, and an outdoor amphitheater has made the Field of Dreams site unavailable for the next two years.
MLB chose to not schedule a game in 2023 nor 2024 in Dyersville while the renovations are completed.
Birmingham to host 2024 Field of Dreams Game
On Tuesday, MLB confirmed that the Field of Dreams Game will return in 2024. But it will be played in Birmingham on the historic Rickwood Field.
Rickwood Stadium is the oldest ballpark still in use in the US. It debuted in 1910 when it was built as the home of the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association. In subsequent years, the field hosted teams in the Negro National League, Negro Southern League, and Negro American League. Such baseball luminaries as Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson played on the field.
Alabama natives and Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Willie McCovey also played at Rickwood as amateurs.
Though the 2024 game will not be played on the plot of land that was used in the movie, the regular season contest will still be known as the Field of Dreams Game. Several fans interviewed by KCCI in Iowa bristled at the notion that MLB would still call the event the “Field of Dreams Game” with it taking place outside of The Hawkeye State.
The 2024 game will be the first MLB game played in the state of Alabama, outside of the negro leagues’ contests (the negro leagues were recognized as “major leagues” retroactively in 2020). Likewise, the 2021 Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville was the first MLB game played in Iowa.
Both the Dyersville ballpark and Rickwood Field can accommodate roughly 10,000 fans.