Earlier this month, those who tuned in to watch the “Field of Dreams” game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees, got to see the iconic Kevin Costner movie immortalized in a real-life stadium that has replaced the ball field from the film. It was all made possible thanks to the construction work performed by Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based BrightView.
The 8,000-seat stadium in Dyersville, Iowa was filled on the day of the game—and the MLB recently announced plans to host a follow-up game in 2022 between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
BrightView’s role was the design and construction of the field including site grading, installation of drainage, laying sod, fencing, bull pens, foul poles, and more. BrightView also oversaw the installation of the backstop net and various player related areas.
Since completion, the BrightView team also transitioned right into a sports turf maintenance role to perform upkeep work.
“Once having a beautiful field like this completed, it’s important that it’s properly maintained, too,” says Murray Cook, president of BrightView’s sports turf division, who oversaw the project.
A history of sports field construction
BrightView broke ground on the iconic field in 2019. But it was far from their first sports field job.
BrightView has a long history of working with the MLB and Cook has been their official field consultant for many years. Cook joined BrightView in 2001 but was working with the MLB prior to that. He is also the past president and current member of the National Sports Turf managers Association.
While Cook has worked on many memorable and special projects, this one is certainly unique.
“Seeing the players’ and fans’ expressions is something I’ll never forget,” he says. “This movie was about more than just baseball to people, and they have a lot of emotion tied to it,” he says.
“Getting to be here when the players stepped on the field for the first time was really special,” he continues. “They had this wide-eyed look. It really is a ball field in the middle of a cornfield, just like the movie. Whether watching on TV or being here in person, I think it meant a lot to people to see this event take place.”