Iowa GOP Parties At Field Of Dreams After Voting Against, Opposing Funds For Its Expansion

Photo from Gov. Kim Reynolds' Twitter account.

By Ty Rushing

August 12, 2022

Gov. Kim Reyolds and nearly all the top Iowa Republicans were over the moon after Thursday’s Major League Baseball (MLB) held at the “Field of Dreams” movie site outside Dyersville.

“Such a fun time at the Field of Dreams last night. Incredibly proud to see Iowa shine yet again in the national spotlight! #FieldOfDreamsGame #isthisheavennoitsiowa,” Reynolds wrote on Twitter in a photo post that also included Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Ashley Hinson.

The trio were also joined by Sen. Chuck Grassley , Rep. Marinette Miller-Meeks, Rep. Randy Feenstra and state treasurer candidate Sen. Roby Smith.

This was the second MLB game ever played in Iowa following last year’s inaugural showdown between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.

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While last year’s game and Thursday’s contest were played in a temporary stadium constructed and paid for by MLB, Iowa officials including Reynolds are going all in on building a permanent stadium at the farm site and have allocated $45 million in public funds to the project.

Most of the funds are from the American Rescue Plan Act, a sweeping piece of legislation spearheaded by President Joe Biden.

Interestingly enough, none of Iowa’s Republicans who clearly love the idea of Major League Baseball being played in an Iowa cornfield were supportive of the Rescue Plan.

Reynolds called the American Rescue Plan a ‘“blue-state bailout” and “an overarching, unconstitutional stimulus bill. She has since allocated $11 million from Iowa’s allocated rescue plan dollars to support municipal water and wastewater service to the “Field of Dreams” site, which sits about four miles east of Dyersville. 

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Hinson, whose congressional district includes Dyersville, even thanked Reynolds for the act while both ignored where the funding actually came from. 

It should also be noted Hinson voted against the American Rescue Plan, as did Ernst, Grassley, Feenstra, and Miller-Meeks. 

In July, the city of Dyersville submitted an application asking for $12.5 million from Reynolds’ Destination Iowa program, a tourism initiative funded by the Rescue Plan, to support building a $50 million permanent stadium at the “Field of Dreams” site. Reynolds approved it two days before the game.

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According to the Des Moines Register, $45 million in public funding would go to the “Field of Dreams” site. This includes money from the city of Dyersville, Dubuque County, the city of Dubuque, and non-COVID-related federal dollars. 

It should also be noted that in June, Reynolds announced a $6 million Destination Iowa grant—again, funded by Biden’s Rescue Plan—would go toward Universal Television to develop a “Field of Dreams” TV show. 

The show was supposed to be available on Peacock—NBC’s streaming app—and days after receiving the grant, it was announced that Peacock would not host the show, which is searching for a new network/streamer.

All told, Reynolds may wind up allocating nearly $30 million in federal COVID-relief dollars to two separate “Field of Dreams” projects although neither has a guaranteed future at the moment.

Maybe she’s putting a twist on one of the movie’s most-famous catchphrases: “If you pay for it, they will come.”


by Ty Rushing

To contact Senior Editor Ty Rushing for tips or story ideas, email him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter @Rushthewriter 

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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