Spring is around the corner and baseball fever is in the air. Fans can't wait for the Lake County Fielders -- a new Northern League team partly owned by actor Kevin Costner in Zion.
"I'm really excited to go to the games!" one fan said.
"I'm looking forward to a ball team right here in Lake County," another said.
"It's affordable. It's close to home. It's good for Lake County," still another said.
One fan even went to say, “It’s like living in Wrigleyville.”
In Costner’s classic baseball movie "Field of Dreams" the ballpark appears out of thin air.
But for the Lake County Fielders, well, they could use a bit of Hollywood magic.
With opening day just three months away, the Fielders are supposed to play at a ballpark in town. And so far there's not even a hole in the ground.
In late February the Fielders held their inaugural Fanfest.
Hundreds of people bought caps and T-shirts, and got autographs from the ballplayers.
They also saw pictures of the Fielders’ new stadium -- an $11.5 million, 7,000-seat-ballpark featuring suites and a party deck.
And when fans asked whether it would be ready for opening day?
Officials said, "We'll be ready to go on June 11."
FOX Chicago News heard the same story at nearby Gurnee Mills when we took our undercover camera in to buy tickets.
A salesman showed us a map of the ballpark-- and took our cash with more promises it will be ready to go.
But now the Fielders are pitching a different story.
Bernie DiMeo is spokesman for the Fielders lead owner Rich Ehrenreich, who also owns a piece of another Minor League team, the Schaumburg Flyers.
Asked if the ballpark would be ready for Opening Day, DiMeo said, “I don't think anyone can say with absolute certainty at this point in time."
DiMeo added: "I think everybody in the office is a little concerned because they don't see any activity going on. But we're the tenant here. It's like we're you're waiting for new office space, but we're not sure."
So what's the holdup?
Like most things in professional sports: cold, hard cash.
The City of Zion is waiting on a $1.3 million state grant for land acquisition and site improvements.
But with the state facing a massive budget hole, there's no guarantee when that money's coming through.
There's also lease payments, private money and naming rights -- a tricky triple play that requires no one drops the ball.
Still, Zion officials remain confident.
So how long does it take to construct a minor league ballpark? Well in Schaumburg the Flyers stadium was built in 10 months, and that was on a hurry-up schedule.
In Joliet the Jackhammers stadium took 14 months to build. And in Gary the Railcat's ballpark was so far behind schedule the team played its first season on the road.
Already the Fielders have scaled back their stadium by $3 million -- eliminating the second deck -- which they say cuts the construction schedule by several weeks.
At fanfest we found a number of people who've already plunked down big cash -- including tom stoll and sandy gussarson -- who bought four season tickets for $2,800.
"My thought is they should have updates, let people know what's going on,” Gussarson said. “That way these people that have spent all this money on season tickets would know."
The Fielders say fans shouldn't worry about being out money.
If it comes to it, DiMeo said, "They will get their money back. They won't be charged for anything that's not played… full refunds.”
Already owner Ehrenreich has plenty of bills to pay.
He says he's burning through $20,000 a week for payroll.
And he still owes the Village of Schaumburg money for the Flyers lease last year.
Ehrenreich is trying to sell the Flyers and says he's close to a deal.
In “Field of Dreams,” the players emerged from the corn and thousands of fans turned out to see the miracle.
In this field of dreams they'll need more than hope for a happy Hollywood ending.
They'll need cash and time.