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Iowa uses $23.5 million in COVID aid for ‘Field of Dreams’ stadium

Iowa uses $23.5 million in COVID aid for ‘Field of Dreams’ stadium

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

Capitalizing on the well-being nostalgia of Movie “Field of Dreams”and the success of Major League Baseball games played on a temporary field built near the film’s site, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds uses $12.5 million of Covid-19 relief funds from the State to help build a permanent Field of Dreams Ballpark stadium in the town of Dyerville, according to the Des Moines register.

It comes after it already committed an additional $11 million of Covid-19 funds to build water and sewer lines at the Field of Dreams stadium site.

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Along with city and county funds and $1.5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, federal funds are going to the $50 million project.

Those funds come from Reynolds’ “Destination Iowa” grant program, created with $100 million of the $4.5 billion slice of the pie that Iowa received from the American Rescue Plan Act, the bill of March 2021 on Congressional Coronavirus Relief.

The spending is necessary “to strengthen the quality of life in Iowa communities and attract visitors and new residents to the state,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Iowa State’s hospitality industry experienced a 46.1% decline in employment and an overall 29% drop in visitor spending as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Field of Dreams Ballpark, which shouldn’t be ready to play until 2024is one of many projects within Destination Iowa that claims to help Iowa recover.

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While a feasibility study expects the stadium to serve 136,000 patrons a year, employ 81 people in new jobs and host 62 events, bringing in $9.1 million in investment in the first year, some experts in economic development are skeptical about the economic benefits the stadium will bring, The registry reported.

Neither the corporate events, banquets, concerts and festivals, nor the baseball games needed to sustain the ballpark are guaranteed, experts said, noting it would compete with the cities of Dubuque and Cedar Rapids for events.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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