Fundraising started for repairs after Field of Dreams vandalism

Thousands of dollars in damage inflicted by vehicle driven onto ballpark

DYERSVILLE — The owners of Dyersville’s most-famous landmark are asking fans to help repair the vandalized field.

An online crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise money to repair the Field of Dreams movie site. The owners seek $15,000 to repair the cornfield-adjacent baseball diamond and install a security system.

The site was damaged late Monday or early Tuesday after a vehicle was driven onto the field, causing thousands of dollars in damage. The vehicle’s wheels dug 4-inch deep tracks into the rain-soaked soil, leaving scars that probably will take an entire season to repair.

According to the GoFundMe page, the field’s irrigation system was damaged, too. If the campaign is successful, owners will install a security system “to help protect this magical baseball shrine for the 100,000 visitors each season.”

More than 3,900 had been raised as of late afternoon Wednesday.

Denise Stillman, owner of the Field of Dreams site, said the damage was discovered Tuesday morning.

“Someone who is disturbed had some agenda to damage the field,” Stillman said. “It’s upsetting.”

Al Steffen, the site’s field manager, inspected the damage.

“Whoever did it was really able to dig in,” he said.

It’s not the first time someone has driven a vehicle out onto the field, Steffen said. However, the combination of relatively warm January weather and steady rain loosened the soil enough for the vehicle to cause serious damage.

Most of the damage occurred in center field and left field, he said.

“We won’t be able to do anything for months,” Steffen said of repairs.

“We need to wait until the spring to figure out how much we’re going to need to tear up.”

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The field doesn’t have security cameras, and field officials couldn’t identify the vehicle that caused the tracks, Steffen said.

The field will remain open to the public amid repairs next summer, Stillman said.

“A lot of people travel (from) all over the world to come see the Field of Dreams, and they don’t always check Facebook to make sure we are open,” Stillman said. “We’ll just have to keep operating as is.”

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