Michael Stillman Plans to Turn the Field of Dreams Into a Premier Baseball and Softball Facility

November 3, 2011 – 9:20 am by Chris Fedor

“If you build it they will come.” That is the most recognizable quote from the movie “Field of Dreams.” Back in 1989 Universal Studios built a baseball diamond on an Iowa farm. That farm became an extremely recognizable landmark and turned into a tourist attraction that has brought people from all around the country. Now the “Field of Dreams” will become even bigger. It was recently sold to a group of buyers from Chicago led by Mike and Denise Stillman, who love baseball. The good news is that they are keeping the field intact, along with all of its memories while at the same time enhancing the property. The group known as Go the Distance Baseball L.L.C. plans to add a youth baseball complex called All-Star Ballpark Heaven alongside the movie field. It will reportedly open up in 2014, which is the 25th Anniversary of the movie opening up, with a dozen new fields to go with an indoor center as well. As they say in the movie, “If you build it they will come.”

Michael Stillman joined WSCR in Chicago with Mully and Hanley to talk about the plans they have for the “Field of Dreams,” why they were so focused on getting this project done, when he expects the field to open up, and if they are going to do anything special with a sequel to the movie for the 25th Anniversary.

On the plans they have for the “Field of Dreams”

“We do. It’s part of an investment group, Go the Distance LLC, and believe it or not my wife is the brains behind the whole operation and we have great plans. We want to make it into a premier baseball/softball facility which really the Midwest doesn’t have. A lot of people Northeast in New York, down to Virginia, and North Carolina but this is something we lack. One thing to be clear, we are keeping the movie site intact. The home, everything, the diamonds are going to be on an entirely different part of the property.”

On why they were so focused on getting this project done:

“It was the first movie we watched when we were dating at Bradley University. We were poor college students so we rented a VHS and watched in my dorm room. I know I’m a romantic guy, that was our first movie. It’s been one of our favorite movies ever sense.”

When they expect to open up the new complex they bought:

“Just to be clear, we’re not yet the owners. We have it under contract and there are a lot of hurdles we have to jump through but our goal is to have everything completed for opening day 2014.”

Whether or not Universal Studios will do anything with a sequel for the 25th Anniversary:

“I don’t know frankly but the one neat thing, our target opening of 2014 of our group, that is the 25th Anniversary of the movie. It was released in ’89. I don’t know what Universal wants to do but I’m sure they’re probably looking at something.”

Listen to Michael Stillman on WSCR in Chicago here

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  1. One Response to “Michael Stillman Plans to Turn the Field of Dreams Into a Premier Baseball and Softball Facility”

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    By Chip on Nov 4, 2011

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