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Public comments: Most favor Ballpark Heaven

Commercial gathers citizen opinion on Field of Dreams debate.

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Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 10:00 am | Updated: 9:50 am, Wed Jun 6, 2012.

At the May 7 Dyersville City Council meeting, Council member Molly Evers let it be known that she wanted to hear what citizens thought about the All-Star Ballpark Heaven project. Then, at the May 21 meeting, nearby property owner Wayne Ameskamp did the same thing, calling for a vote.

Last week, the Dyersville Commercial granted those wishes.

For three days last week, staff writers took to the Dyersville streets to gather the general consensus of what area residents are feeling when it comes to the All-Star Ballpark Heaven project at the Field of Dreams movie site.

Writers asked citizens “Are you in favor of the All-Star Ballpark Heaven proposal at the Field of Dreams movie site?”

According to 137 people interviewed in this unscientific poll, roughly 58 percent (79 votes) said that they are in favor of it while 25 percent voted against the project. Twenty-four people (17.5 percent) cast an “undecided” response.

The turnout didn’t come as a surprise to Denise Stillman, co-developer of All Star Ballpark Heaven alongside her husband Mike.

“The results are not surprising because we had great response at the beginning of the project,” Stillman said. “I would say that we are pleased that the general public is in favor of it, and we certainly know the business community is in favor of it.”

Demographics of the poll showed that younger citizens tended to be in greater favor.

From the 41 people under the age of 36 polled, 30 cast a vote in the affirmative with just seven voting no.

The 36-54 age bracket brought out 23 yes votes and seven negatives.

The closest race came from the 55-and-up sector. While 43 percent (26 people) in this demographic voted in favor of All-Star Ballpark Heaven, 33 percent (20) said that they were not. Another 14 were undecided.

That, too, was not surprising to Stillman.

“We wouldn’t expect 100 percent support,” she said. “That’s the nature of human beings.”

Although the majority considered All-Star Ballpark Heaven to be a good idea, there is still 42 percent either against it or undecided.

How do the Stillmans plan to sway the dissenters to their side?

“My job is not to change anyone’s mind; everybody will make up their mind based on whether they like baseball and like economic improvements or economic growth, so I’m not going to worry about them,” Denise Stillman said. “I think that people are entitled to their own opinions.”

Stillman – who said that more investors have been acquired for the project, though the names couldn’t be released – also looked at the results through the lens of the sport on which the project is based.

“It’s just like in baseball, you don’t have to hit a home run every time to be a winner,” Stillman said. “You just have to hit three out of 10 and be considered pretty great. I guess we’re doing better than the average baseball player.”

© 2018 Dyersville Commercial. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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