Busch Stadium

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This article is about the current sports venue in St. Louis, Missouri that opened in 2006. For the stadium in St. Louis that operated from 1966 to 2005, see Busch Memorial Stadium. For the ballpark known as "Busch Stadium" from 1953 to 1966, see Sportsman's Park.
Not to be confused with Bush Stadium. ‹See Tfd›
Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium III
Busch Stadium.svg
Busch Stadium
Location 700 Clark Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Coordinates 38°37′21″N 90°11′35″W / 38.62250°N 90.19306°W / 38.62250; -90.19306Coordinates: 38°37′21″N 90°11′35″W / 38.62250°N 90.19306°W / 38.62250; -90.19306
Broke ground January 17, 2004
Opened April 4, 2006 (MLB exhibition)
April 10, 2006 (MLB)
Owner St. Louis National Baseball Club Inc.
Operator St. Louis National Baseball Club Inc.[1]
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction cost $365 million[2][3]
($427 million in 2014 dollars[4])
Architect Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
Kennedy Associates/Architects Inc.[5]
Project manager Clayco Corp.[6]
Structural engineer Bliss and Nyitray, Inc.
Services engineer M-E Engineers, Inc.[7]
General contractor Hunt/Kwame[8]
Capacity 43,975
46,861 (with standing room)[9]
Record attendance 48,263 Chelsea F.C. vs Manchester City F.C. (3-4)[10]
Baseball: 47,492 (April 7, 2014) Cardinals vs Reds[11]
Field size Left Field — 336 feet (102 m)
Left Center Field — 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field — 400 feet (122 m)
Right Center Field — 375 feet (114 m)
Right Field — 335 feet (102 m)
Public transit access Metrolink: Stadium
Tenants
St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) (2006–present)

Busch Stadium (also referred to informally as "New Busch Stadium" or "Busch Stadium III") is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, of MLB. The stadium has a seating capacity of 43,975, and contains 3,706 club seats and 61 luxury suites. It replaced Busch Memorial Stadium and occupies a portion of that stadium's former footprint. A commercial area, dubbed Ballpark Village, was built adjacent to the stadium over the remainder of the former stadium's footprint.

The ballpark opened on April 4, 2006 with an exhibition between the minor league Memphis Redbirds and Springfield Cardinals, both affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals, which Springfield won 5-3 with right-hander Mike Parisi recording the first win. The first official major league game occurred on April 10, 2006 as the Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 6–4 behind an Albert Pujols home run and winning pitcher Mark Mulder.

The highest attendance for a sports event was on May 23, 2013 when 48,263 people watched Chelsea Football Club and Manchester City Football Club play a friendly match.[12]

The stadium is the third stadium in St. Louis to carry the name Busch Stadium. Sportsman's Park was renamed Busch Stadium in 1953, after team owner Gussie Busch. The first Busch closed in 1966, and both the baseball Cardinals, and the NFL's St. Louis Cardinals moved to a new multi-purpose stadium, named Busch Memorial Stadium. However, the current stadium is actually a corporate name and named after Anheuser-Busch, not Gussie Busch. The naming rights deal was signed in 2004 and would extend from the stadium's opening in 2006 until 2026.[13]

History[edit]

Planning[edit]

Old Busch Destroyed.
Old Busch Stadium in the process of being torn down.

In 1995, St. Louis Cardinals team ownership began to lobby for a new ballpark in downtown St. Louis, but the team was unable to acquire funding for the project for several years. In June 2001, the Missouri state government signed a contract with the team, proposing a ballpark in downtown St. Louis, but a subsequent funding bill was struck down in May 2002, leaving the saga open.[14][15] Team owners sought a location near Madison, Illinois, adjacent to Gateway International Raceway, until the city of St. Louis drafted a financing plan for the team to construct the new stadium in downtown St. Louis.[16] The stadium was financed through private bonds, bank loans, a long-term loan from St. Louis County, and money from the team owners. The development, including the Ballpark Village was projected to cost approximately $665 million with the stadium alone costing $365 million.[3]

Construction and opening[edit]

Busch Stadium under construction
1st game at new Busch featured Cardinal Minor League clubs. Notice the left field seats not yet complete.

New Busch Stadium was designed by Populous (then known as HOK Sport) and built by Hunt Construction with an estimated cost of $344.8 million, which proved too low by $20.2 mil. to its final cost of $365 mil.[3] HOK's senior project designer for Busch Stadium was Jim Chibnall, who was also the lead designer of Progressive Field in Cleveland, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Sydney Olympic Stadium and other notable stadiums throughout the world.[17]

The field level (16,880 seats), terrace level (9,150), and bleachers (3,661) were completed in time for opening day, with total capacity on that day of 37,962, not including up to 2,751 standing room tickets.[18] An integrated LED video and scoring system from Daktronics was installed in the stadium prior to its opening, featuring a video display measuring 32 feet high by 52 feet wide and three message displays, as well as more than 100 feet of digital ribbon board technology.[19]

Construction on the seating area was completed in late May increasing the capacity for the May 29, 2006 game vs the Houston Astros with finishing touches performed throughout the year.[18] Including all 2,886 standing-room-only tickets for the general public and the suites and party rooms, the stadium's total capacity is 46,861. Natural grass turf was installed in March 2006.[18]

Busch Stadium as seen from the top of the Gateway Arch in May 2013.

Notable baseball events[edit]

In the stadium's debut season every Cardinal game was sold out, giving a total attendance of 3,407,104 for the season, the second-largest in team history,[20] but since surpassed in both 2007 and 2008.[21]

Playoffs[edit]

2006[edit]

In the first season of the new stadium, the Cardinals beat the Detroit Tigers in 5 games to capture their 10th World Series title.

2009[edit]

Busch Stadium hosted only one postseason game in 2009, a 5–1 loss versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 10, to complete a sweep of the Cardinals.

New and old Busch Stadiums.

2011[edit]

In 2011, Busch Stadium hosted two postseason games in the National League Division Series versus the Philadelphia Phillies. On October 4, the Phillies won 3–2, to take a 2–1 game lead over the Cardinals. The next night, the 5th, the Cardinals beat the Phillies 5–3 to tie the series at 2 games apiece. In the NLCS versus the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cardinals won 2 of the three games they played at home (Games 3, 4, 5). The Cards ended up winning the series on the road in Milwaukee to advance to the World Series.

Because the National League had won the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, home field advantage went to the Cardinals as the National League champions, thus allowing the team to host the Texas Rangers for Games 1, 2, 6 and 7. Game 1 was won by the Cardinals on October 19, along with Game 6 on October 27, in a game won in walk-off fashion by a David Freese home run, then the deciding Game 7, which was taken by the Cardinals in a 6-2 final, giving the team the 2011 World Series title.

2012[edit]

Busch Stadium hosted two postseason games vs. the Washington Nationals in the 2012 National League Division Series. The two teams split the two games at Busch, before the Cardinals won two of the next three games at Nationals Park. The Cardinals then won the first two home games against the San Francisco Giants to take a 3–1 series lead, but lost Game 5 and went on to lose the series in Game 7 at AT&T Park.

2013[edit]

The Cardinals hosted nine postseason games at Busch Stadium in 2013. In the National League Division Series, they won Games 1 and 5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the latter game capping off a series comeback after trailing 2–1. They would win every home game of the NLCS against the Dodgers, including a 9–0 shutout win in Game 6 to take the series 4–2. In the World Series, the Cardinals hosted Games 3–5 against the Boston Red Sox. Game 3 on October 26 ended in an obstruction call when Allen Craig was impeded by Will Middlebrooks at third base, thus awarding him a run after umpire Jim Joyce ruled obstruction on the play. The next night Game 4 ended on a successful pickoff by Koji Uehara on pinch-runner Kolten Wong at first base. The Cardinals led 2–1 after the controversial Game 3 win, but proceeded to lose the next three games to lose the series 4–2.

MLB All-Star Game[edit]

The stadium hosted the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 14, 2009. The American League defeated the National League in that game, 4-3. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carl Crawford won MVP. President Barack Obama threw out the ceremonial first pitch wearing a Chicago White Sox jacket.

College and high school baseball[edit]

Missouri has recently started to play one game a year at Busch. In 2009, they defeated SLU, and in 2010, they defeated Illinois in a Braggin' Rights matchup.

The Cardinals have allowed local high school teams to play each other on the field following select weekend afternoon games. So far, the only home run hit by a high school student was on May 7, 2011 by Johnny Wilson of Marquette Catholic High School against Farmington High School.[citation needed]

Other sports[edit]

College football[edit]

Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Southeast Missouri State played each other in the first ever football game at Busch Stadium on September 21, 2013 in front of a crowd of 14,618.

Professional soccer[edit]

Busch Stadium hosted a friendly on May 23, 2013 between Manchester City and Chelsea of the English Premier League.[22] Tickets for the match sold out within 20 minutes of going on sale,[23] and Manchester City won 4-3 in front of an enthusiastic standing-room crowd of 48,263.[24] Later that year on November 18, Busch hosted a friendly between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Argentina; before a crowd of more than 30,000, many of which were members of St. Louis' large Bosniak community, Argentina beat Bosnia by a score of 2-0, with Sergio Agüero scoring both goals.

Concerts[edit]

On June 7, 2008, the stadium hosted its first-ever concert, with Dave Matthews Band playing to a crowd of approximately 35,000, with The Black Crowes as their opening act. The show was recorded and later released as a live album, entitled Live Trax Vol. 13.

On June 24, 2010, the stadium again hosted a concert, with The Eagles headlining a show, along with The Dixie Chicks.[25]

On July 17, 2011, the stadium hosted its third concert, when U2 came to town during their 360° Tour.[26]

"Fredbird" store[edit]

Fredbird entertaining the crowd between innings during a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium.
Main article: Fredbird

The ballpark features a make-your-own-mascot store for the Cardinals' mascot, Fredbird.

Features[edit]

Busch Stadium in 2009

Design[edit]

Whereas the old stadium was a fully enclosed "cookie-cutter" facility similar to Riverfront, Veterans, Three Rivers and Atlanta-Fulton County stadiums, the new stadium is similar to the many other HOK designed "retro-classic" fields. Like all those, it offers a panoramic view of the downtown skyline.

The Gate 3 entrance on the west side of the stadium is most iconic, with a large "bridge" resembling the Eads Bridge arching over the entrance. The exterior of the stadium contains historical plaques of Cardinals logos, the STL insignia and a Busch Stadium logo behind home plate.

Statues[edit]

Outside the Gate 3 entrance stands a bronze statue of Cardinals legend Stan "The Man" Musial. Other Cardinals statues that previously surrounded Busch Memorial Stadium are now displayed at the corner of Clark and Eighth streets, outside the Cardinals' team store. The statues are of former Cardinal players and Hall of Fame inductees Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Rogers Hornsby, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith; former St. Louis Browns player and Hall of Fame inductee George Sisler; former Negro league St. Louis Stars player and Hall of Fame inductee Cool Papa Bell; and former Cardinals radio broadcaster and Hall of Fame honoree Jack Buck.

Concessions[edit]

Fans at the stadium have access to a large amount of food and drink options, ranging from standard ballpark fare like bratwurst, nachos and peanuts to St Louis-area favorites such as pork steak sandwiches and toasted ravioli. Budweiser holds the beer contract for the stadium as one would expect, but most recently the smaller Saint Louis Brewery has been making inroads, selling Schlafly beer in bottles at a growing number of concession stands. Tickets for five all-inclusive areas are sold on a single game basis, with amenities running the gamut from the ritzy Champions Club (offering a multiple-course buffet, plasma televisions, a chance to get on television or radio as a broadcast booth is located inside the club, and a full bar) to the more family-oriented Scoreboard Patio (with table seating for four in center field and a more traditional selection of food). Cardinal management also allows outside food and drink (including soft-sided drink coolers); as a result, it is not uncommon to see vendors selling discounted bags of peanuts and bottles of soda and water, or even scalpers including a box of Cracker Jack with tickets.

Press accommodations[edit]

After St. Louis Post-Dispatch sportswriter Rick Hummel was honored with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award and induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007, the Cardinals renamed the stadium's press box the "Bob Broeg-Rick Hummel Press Box", honoring the two local writers enshrined in Cooperstown.

Ballpark Village[edit]

Ballpark Village is a multi-phase residential and entertainment complex project under construction on the site of the former Busch Memorial Stadium across the street from the new ballpark. Despite several years of delays, groundbreaking occurred in February 2013 and the first phase was completed in time for Opening Day 2014.

Other modifications[edit]

During a weather incident during a July 2006 game vs the Atlanta Braves, portable concession stands were knocked over, the infield rain tarp was damaged, and plastic sheets used to protect the press box were dislodged. As a result of the storm at least thirty spectators were injured, of whom five were taken to the hospital.[27] After the storm happened, the stadium designated shelter areas for such disasters which are located throughout the ballpark.[28]

Following Juan Encarnación's face injury on August 31, 2007, workers extended the screen from dugout to dugout during the 2007-2008 off season.[29]

Panorama of Busch Stadium

Regular season home attendance[edit]

Home Attendance at Busch Stadium[30]
Year Total attendance Game average League rank
2006 3,407,104 42,589 2nd
2007 3,552,180 43,854 3rd
2008 3,432,917 42,382 3rd
2009 3,343,252 41,275 3rd
2010 3,301,218 40,756 3rd
2011 3,093,954 38,197 3rd
2012 3,262,109 40,273 4th
2013 3,369,769 41,602 2nd
2014 1,991,414 43,291 2nd

References[edit]

  1. ^ Muret, Don (April 17, 2006). "Another round of Busch for St. Louis". SportsBusiness Journal (Street & Smith's). 
  2. ^ Busch Stadium Facts MLB.com
  3. ^ a b c Ballparks: Busch Stadium
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ Busch Stadium - KAI Design/Build
  6. ^ "New Busch Stadium". Projects. Clayco. 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Projects: Srofessional Sports Stadiums". me-engineers.com. M-E Engineers, Inc. 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2011. 
  8. ^ Kwame Building Group - St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium
  9. ^ "Cardinals make 65,000 additional tickets available" St. Louis Cardinals Press Release, April 28, 2006.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ CBSSports.com, PHOTO: Busch Stadium as a soccer venue, May 24, 2013, http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/22295758/photo-busch-stadium-as-a-soccer-venue
  13. ^ Anheuser-Busch Buys Cardinals Stadium Naming Rights
  14. ^ Ballparks of Baseball article regarding funding and construction of the stadium
  15. ^ "New plan calls for $333 million stadium, plus Ballpark Village complex," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 25, {{subst:year when|2002|baseball}},
  16. ^ "Cardinals looking at site near Gateway Raceway," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 16, {{subst:year when|2002|baseball}}.
  17. ^ Bonetti, David (April 6, 2006). "Q&A With The Architect: 'It's Not Totally Retro'". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  18. ^ a b c "New Busch Stadium: Baseball Chronology". BaseballChronology.com. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Article: Daktronics Announces 2006 Major League and Minor League Baseball Projects". 
  20. ^ "Cards lose, Become NL Central Champ With Worst Record". ESPN. Retrieved October 1, 2006. 
  21. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals Attendance Records". Baseball-Almanac.com. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  22. ^ l "English Premier League soccer coming to Busch". stltoday.com. March 29, 2013. 
  23. ^ Daily Mail Online, Hottest ticket in St Louis! City v Chelsea's post-season friendly sells out in 20 minutes, April 3, 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2303572/Chelsea-Manchester-City-USA-friendly-sells-20-minutes.html
  24. ^ CBS St. Louis, Manchester City Tops Chelsea in Busch Stadium Thriller, May 23, 2013, http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/05/23/manchester-city-tops-chelsea-in-busch-stadium-thriller/
  25. ^ Johnson, Kevin C. (June 25, 2010). "Eagles Deliver Timeless Tunes at Busch Stadium". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ Johnson, Kevin C. (November 1, 2010). "U2 Bringing 360° Tour to Busch Stadium". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  27. ^ Storm damages Busch Stadium; Cards-Braves delayed from ESPN.com
  28. ^ "Busch Stadium Wiki Information". StubPass.com. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  29. ^ "When Foul Balls Become Lethal Projectiles, Fans Are Mostly Unprotected". International Herald Tribune. April 20, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  30. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals Attendance, Stadiums, and Park Factors". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Busch Memorial Stadium
Home of the
St. Louis Cardinals

2006 – present
Succeeded by
Current
Preceded by
Yankee Stadium
Host of the
Major League Baseball All-Star Game

2009
Succeeded by
Angel Stadium of Anaheim