The top Republican in the Iowa House is expressing tentative support for a state incentive plan for the Field of Dreams movie site in eastern Iowa. An Illinois developer wants to turn the location of the 1989 movie into a youth sports complex and entertainment center.
House Speaker Craig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, says he has not ruled out a tax incentive similar to the one provided for the speedway in Newton. “It’s really a neat idea and I think it has the potential to be a real nice jewel for the state of Iowa. Looking for the model that we used for Newton to move forward with, I think is intriguing,” Paulsen says.
The plan used for the Newton track saw the state give up the sales taxes the race track generated in its early years. Paulsen says that’s one idea for the Field of Dreams site near Dyersville. “Largely it does not put the taxpayers of Iowa on the hook for anything, and yet it is a way for them to plug in and be supportive on something that could hopefully could be a significant impact. We’ve got a long ways to go before we’re ready to commit to something or not doing something,” Paulsen said.
The baseball diamond built out of cornfield and the nearby farmhouse became a popular tourist attraction after the movie, with people coming from all over the world to see it. Owners Don and Becky Lansing announced in May of 2010 that they were going to sell the site and were looking for a buyer who would keep the iconic baseball field intact.
They announced in October of 2011 that they had accepted a bid from an investment group called “Go The Distance Baseball LLC.”