Iowa gives $6 million for 'Field of Dreams' TV show, with filming planned in Des Moines metro

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Iowa will spend $6 million to expand the "Field of Dreams" cinematic universe.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday that the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded public funds to four tourism-related projects, including the nine-figure grant to Universal Television LLC, the production arm of NBC that is making a television series based on the "Field of Dreams" movie.

Polk City in northern Polk County will be a key filming site for the show, according to Reynolds' news release. The limited series will air on NBC's Peacock streaming service.

The IEDA also will give money for two other project in the Des Moines metro: the completion of a major bike trail link in Dallas County and canoe launches and fishing boats on Easter Lake.

Fans watch as the Chicago White Sox take on the New York Yankees during their baseball game at the new MLB field next to the Field of Dreams movie site on Aug. 12, 2021 in Dyersville. The Chicago White Sox would go on to defeat the New York Yankees 9-8 thanks to a two- run walk-off home run by Tim Anderson.
Fans watch as the Chicago White Sox take on the New York Yankees during their baseball game at the new MLB field next to the Field of Dreams movie site on Aug. 12, 2021 in Dyersville. The Chicago White Sox would go on to defeat the New York Yankees 9-8 thanks to a two- run walk-off home run by Tim Anderson.

The funds come from Destination Iowa, a $100 million program that Reynolds announced in early April for projects that promote tourism or raise the state's profile. Reynolds created the program with public funds that Congress gave states last year when it passed a COVID-19 relief bill.

“Destination Iowa will help more communities fuel tourism and economic growth while enhancing the quality of life for Iowans," Reynolds said in a statement Monday.

More: 'Field of Dreams' TV series written by 'Office' creator will film in Iowa

Released in 1989, "Field of Dreams" is one of the most prominent movies linked to the state. The film is based on "Shoeless Joe," a 1982 novel written by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella, an alumnus of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Fans of the movie — and local officials hoping to capitalize on its popularity — have for years hosted baseball games at the location where the film was made in Dyersville. An organization also has raised funds to add more fields, a hotel and an indoor training area to the location, hoping to draw youth baseball and softball tournaments.

Those efforts received a boost last year, when Major League Baseball hosted a game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees at the site — the first MLB game on Iowa soil. Retired White Sox hall of famer Frank Thomas is leading a group that in April announced an $80 million development plan for the location, which will host another major league game in August.

NBC announced a "Field of Dreams" TV series a week after the White Sox-Yankees game. Michael Schur, an Emmy winner with credits for "The Office," "Parks & Recreation" and "The Good Place," conceived of the show.

The network told The Hollywood Reporter in May that Schur's team would film parts of the show in Polk, Mahaska, Clinton and Boone counties this summer. KWWL-TV reported Thursday that the production company has delayed filming until after Labor Day.

In a news release Monday, Reynolds said Universal Television will primarily film the show in Polk City, where the production company is refurbishing a farmhouse. The company also is building a baseball field.

More: 5 things to know about the 'Field of Dreams' TV series, which will be filmed in Iowa

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Clear Lake-based Renovo Media Group will provide some equipment for the filming, while Oskaloosa-based Musco Sports Lighting and Des Moines-based Iowa Sports Turf also are working on the project.

Owens Covered Bridge in Easter Lake Park.
Owens Covered Bridge in Easter Lake Park.

Perry-to-Woodward bike trail link, Easter Lake project also get funding

The IEDA also gave $2.5 million to Polk County Conservation for fishing boats, canoe and kayak launches, a playground and an environmental education learning center at Easter Lake on Des Moines' south side.

Groups spent about $23 million from 2013 to 2019 to improve the lake so that more people would swim and boats in it. They drained the lake, removed about 21,000 dump trucks worth of silt, refilled it and built a 4-mile bike trail around the shoreline.

The IEDA also gave $1 million to complete the remaining 4 miles of a bike trail between Perry and Woodward that will connect the Raccoon River Valley Trail and the High Trestle Trail. Once the work is finished, riders will be able to pedal 86-mile and 118-mile loops on two of Iowa's most popular trails.

Among projects the state is funding is completion of a bike trail connecting the High Trestle Trail to the Raccoon River Trail between Woodward and Perry.
Among projects the state is funding is completion of a bike trail connecting the High Trestle Trail to the Raccoon River Trail between Woodward and Perry.

The IEDA's biggest award Monday went to Siouxland Regional Trail Systems, which received $7 million to build bike paths that connect Sioux City, Le Mars, Hinton, Merrill and Sergeant Bluff, where RAGBRAI 2022 will begin in July.

The spending on the four projects announced Monday leaves $83.5 million in the Destination Iowa fund, which the IEDA will continue to dole out. The state opened the window for applications May 9, and groups can continue to apply through the end of the year.

Tyler Jett covers jobs and the economy for the Des Moines Register. Reach him at tjett@registermedia.com, 515-284-8215, or on Twitter at @LetsJett.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: 'Field of Dreams' NBC TV show to get $6 million in support from Iowa