Viewers across the country will see an unfamiliar backdrop in the outfield of an upcoming Major League Baseball game: corn.
The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds will square off Thursday in MLB’s second Field of Dreams game, a contest that will be played on the site of a cornfield near the set of the iconic 1989 Kevin Costner film in Dyersville, Iowa.
Last year’s game – a thriller between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees – drew 6 million viewers and was the most-watched regular season baseball game since 1998. The game also featured a cinematic opening sequence featuring Costner walking through the venue only to be joined by some of the game’s players as they emerged from the corn in the outfield. The event was named the “Sports Event of the Year” by the Sports Business Journal.
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The outfield backdrop will feature 159 acres of corn surrounding the ballpark. Much of the crop will be lit by an LED system, and according to MLB, retro logos for the Cubs and Reds have been cut into the corn past the right field fence and will be highlighted in aerial coverage during the game.
On Tuesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds granted Dyersville's request for more public funding to build a permanent stadium at the site. She announced an allocation of $12.5 million to This is Iowa Ballpark, a nonprofit that is building a multi-use stadium.
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