One of the most famous farms in all of America (and perhaps the world) is set to take the next big step in its remarkable history.
Back in 1989, owner Don Lansing could never have predicted the level of fame his 193-acre "piece of heaven" would attain after Universal Studios chose it as the setting for its new film "Field of Dreams." In the wake of the film's success (considered by many to be the best sports movie ever made), more than 750,000 people visited the property to experience a bit of Hollywood history and baseball magic.
In 2010, Don and his wife Becky (who incidentally, was one of those tourists when she first met her future husband) decided that the time was right to put their beloved farm up for sale.
“We love the land and the field, but it is time for us to head to the locker room,” Becky told the DeMoines Register. She added, “We are getting up there in years and it is time to think about retirement.”
Listed for $5.4 million, the site entertained several bids before recently being sold to an investor group led by Denise and Mark Stillman and and Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs for $3.4 million. As fans of the movie might guess by its name, Go the Distance, LLC has every intention of expanding upon the site's connection to baseball — with a massive $40 million youth sports complex.
"We already have begun creating our team of architects, engineers and construction experts from Iowa who will lead the charge for developing All-Star Ballpark Heaven," Denise Stillman said in a statement.
"We're going to do things like build a summer camp where kids from the inner city came come to Iowa and learn about how to be a great human being through sports," she added.
According to the AP, the "All-Star Ballpark Heaven," which will include 24 baseball diamonds and 60 clubhouses, will create 1,400 jobs and bring in $40 million to the area. It is expected to be completed in the spring of 2014. Check out a video of the proposed plans for the site below.