Dyersville readies for crowds at events surrounding Field of Dreams game

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — As the Major League Baseball game at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville approaches, Dubuque and Dyersville officials are finalizing festivities surrounding the big day.

Beyond the Game events will be held the week of Aug. 8, surrounding the Aug. 11 MLB game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds and the Aug. 9 minor league baseball game between the Quad City River Bandits and Cedar Rapids Kernels.

On Wednesday, 20 Dyersville business owners and city officials attended a meeting to hear more details regarding the Beyond the Game schedule and how they can prepare for the crowds the events are expected to draw.

“Last year, there were over 4,000 people at the (MLB game) viewing party, and 70% of those people were from outside of 100 miles,” said Keith Rahe, president and CEO of Travel Dubuque. “That shows that people came and participated in (Beyond the Game) and that it’s a draw.”

Tailgating for the minor league tailgate be held Aug. 9 ahead of the game in the parking lot at the corner of Second Street Northeast and Second Avenue Northeast, near Textile Brewing Co. and Fuse. Both businesses are co-hosting the tailgate.

“That game, they’re going to have about 8,000 people involved with it,” Rahe said. “… We anticipate a number of people coming for that game and being in Dyersville to experience that.”

Rahe said a few former MLB players might come to the tailgate, as well as people affiliated with the minor league teams.

Former MLB stars also will be signing autographs at Fan Fest on Aug. 10, 11 and 12 at St. Francis Xavier School. Regional music acts will perform at City Square on Aug. 11 and 12. Not Quite Brothers and Spazmatics will perform on Aug. 12.

Dyersville City Clerk Tricia Maiers said some events such as the Not Quite Brothers and Spazmatics concert were moved to Friday, Aug. 12, to accommodate more people after some people said last year that they didn’t want to take off work for events in the middle of the week.

Several business owners asked about street closures and traffic over the course of that week. Maiers said street closure requests still need to go to City Council for approval but that streets surrounding City Square, where most Beyond the Game events will be, would be closed Wednesday through Friday.

Others asked about ways for people to buy MLB and Field of Dreams merchandise.

“I had complaints from people that (Beyond the Game) didn’t have anything Field of Dreams,” said Abby Sejdini, owner of Dyersville Family Restaurant.

Rahe said MLB plans to sell merchandise to fans at Beyond the Game this year but only on the day of the MLB game.

Maiers also stressed that people should watch for further updates on Beyond the Game, including possible schedule changes.

“Just because you see it like this today, things may change and times may tweak,” she said.