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Dyersville businesses prepare for Field of Dreams game

Dyersville could see its population more than triple during Thursdays game between the White Sox and Yankees.

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — For a town of just over 4,000 people, Dyersville is no stranger to the spotlight. The classic movie Field of Dreams was shot here, and after more than 30 years, the big leagues are coming back.

With the White Sox vs. Yankees game set for Thursday, the town's population will be skyrocketing as baseball fans from across the country pay a visit. Karla Thompson, the executive director of the Dyersville Chamber of Commerce, said it'll be a big week.

"We've hosted RAGBRAI, and Team of Dreams, and of course, the 25th anniversary of the Field of Dreams," Thompson said. "So we are well-versed in holding big events, but I think this might be our biggest one yet."

There's 8,000 seats available in the stadium alone, and the town is hosting a watch party for all the visitors who weren't able to get tickets to the game.

Tom Olberding, the owner of Textile Brewing, has been preparing for the surge.

"We've ordered up on everything that that we could have, and we're going to have an extra beer tent in the back," Olberding said. I think with everything happening around town here, we should stay very busy."

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Anticipation for the game has the entire town buzzing. There was an uptick in visitors last year too, even though the game was cancelled due to COVID. Now that the game's back on, business owners are ready.

"As we get closer, it comes up in conversation almost every day," Olberding said. "When they announced it, we were in shock. We couldn't really believe it was happening." 

Olberding's connection to Field of Dreams runs deeper than a business opportunity. His parents were extras in the film. His father passed away 10 years ago, but Olberding said Field of Dreams helps keep his memory alive.

"I always wait to the credits," he said. "I always I always want to see that last car because it always reminds me of my dad."

Once the dust clears, there will be one question left to answer—will the Field of Dreams game be a one-off event or the start of a new tradition? There's no word yet, but Jim Heavens, Dyersville's Mayor, is open to it.

"We're doing our best to try and help MLB host this," Heavens said. "This is their game but we want to help them make it a success. And the other thing that we'd like to do is make it an annual event. I think it very well could be."

The Field of Dreams game is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12.

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