A family from Chicago has ponied up a large chunk of cash to buy an Iowa farm where the iconic baseball movie "Field of Dreams" was shot.
Mike and Denise Stillman didn't purchase the land because they love corn; they believe they can make a profit bringing baseball fans to the Hawkeye State to play ball on the land Kevin Costner made famous.
It's been more than 22 years since the baseball drama was released in April of 1989, but the Stillmans' investment group is hoping they can turn the Iowa field of dreams into a center for youth baseball and softball in the Midwest. Big plans include building nearly a dozen additional hardball fields and an indoor training dome for those chilly prarie winters. According to the blueprint, all the improvements will be ready for the 2014 baseball season.
Nearly 65,000 movie and baseball aficionados visit the location near Dyersville, Iowa every year. Denise tells
the Chicago Tribune the couple feels the timing is right and they expect big things from this cornfield next to nowhere. "We just know that it's going to be a huge success," she said.
Although Costner was the big star, the motion picture featured Hollywood big shots like Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster as Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham. "Field of Dreams," is the fourth biggest grossing baseball movie of all time, earning $64,431,625. The film was nominated for two Oscars. It was just knocked out of Top 3 status for baseball films this year by Brad Pitt's Moneyball.
The Stillmans watched the Hollywood flick on one of their first dates as college students at Bradley University, and were such big fans they'd listen to the movie soundtrack while studying in their dorm room at the Peoria, Ill., school. While on a visit to the cornfield with their 10-year-old son, they learned the property was for sale.
Mike, 42, runs a Chicago law firm and has season tickets to the White Sox, while his wife Denise, 39, works in the health care business.
It's unknown how much the couple paid for the property, which was originally placed on the market for $5.4 million last year.
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