(also referred to informally as
"New Busch Stadium
" or "Busch Stadium
") is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals
of Major League Baseball
. It replaced Busch Memorial
Stadium and occupies a portion of that stadium's former
Busch Stadium was chosen by MLB to host the
League Baseball All-Star Game
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. The first
official major league game occurred on April 10, 2006 as the
Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee
6–4 behind an Albert
home run and winning pitcher Mark
. A commercial area, dubbed Ballpark
Village, is being developed adjacent to the stadium over
the remainder of the former stadium's footprint.
stadium is the third stadium in St. Louis to carry the name Busch Stadium.
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
Old Busch Stadium torn down.
In 1995, St. Louis Cardinals team ownership began to lobby for a
new ballpark in downtown St.
, but the team was unable to acquire funding for the
project for several years. In June , 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. Team owners sought a
location near Madison,
Illinois, adjacent to
International Raceway, until the city of St. Louis drafted a financing
plan for the team to construct the new stadium in downtown St.
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 will
cost approximately $665 million with the stadium alone costing $365
Construction and opening
Busch Stadium under construction
New Busch Stadium was designed by Populus
(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. HOK's senior project designer for Busch
Stadium was Jim Chibnall, who was also the lead designer of
Field in Cleveland, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Sydney Olympic Stadium and other notable stadiums throughout the
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.
Construction on the seating area was completed in late May
increasing the capacity for the May 29
game vs the Houston Astros
with finishing touches
performed throughout the year. 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.
In its debut season every game was sold out, giving a total
attendance of 3,407,104 for the season, the second-largest in team
history, but since surpassed in both 2007
, therefore the 2006
attendance now ranks fourth in team
2006 weather incident
On July 19, 2006, a severe thunderstorm associated with a passing
whipped up very high winds
throughout St. Louis. At the new Busch Stadium, the storm knocked
over portable concession stands, damaging the infield rain tarp as
it was deployed, and dislodged several of the plastic sheets that
were designed to protect the open-air press box. One of those
sheets, at least 10 feet by 5 feet (3 m by 1.5 m) in dimension,
fell into the stands. At least thirty spectators were injured, of
whom five were taken to the hospital (one of those had a seizure
apparently unrelated to the storm). The
game, which saw the Cardinals defeat the Atlanta Braves
8-3, was delayed by 2 hours
and 21 minutes, while the crews cleaned up. The stadium now has
designated shelter areas for such disasters which are located
throughout the ballpark in strategically placed ramps and
On October 7 and 8, 2006, New Busch Stadium hosted its first
playoff games. On October 7, in Game 3 of the 2006 National League
, the San Diego
defeated the Cardinals 3–1. However, the Redbirds
defeated the Padres in Game 4, on October
, to win the series three games to
On October 14, during the first 2006 National League
game played at New Busch, the Cardinals
defeated the New York Mets
5–0 to take
a 2–1 lead in that series. The Cardinals went on to win the 2006
National League Championship in 7 games.
On October 24, 26, and 27, the Cardinals hosted the first World Series
games at New Busch Stadium against
the Detroit Tigers
. The Cards won all
three games, and secured their tenth world championship, four games
to one. After the game, many fans climbed the famous statue of
to celebrate. There was also
a fireworks display in left field. The games of October 26 and 27th
were rescheduled from a postponement October 25.
By virtue of the Cardinals winning the World Series in 2006, New
Busch Stadium joined a very short list of ballparks whose occupants
won the Series in the ballpark's inaugural year. The last previous one
had been the original Yankee Stadium, in 1923. The Cardinals are also the first team to
win a World Series at home in the inaugural season of a stadium
since the 1912 Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park).
The stadium hosted the 2009 Major League
Baseball All-Star Game
on July 15
, . The
American League defeated the National League in that game, 4-3.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Carl Crawford won MVP after making a
spectacular catch to rob Colorado Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe of
a home run.
On June 7, , the stadium hosted its first-ever concert, with
Dave Matthews Band
playing to a
crowd of approximately 35,000. The
served as the opening act, they opened with "She
Talks to Angels."
Fredbird entertaining the crowd between innings during a Cardinals
game at Busch Stadium.
The ballpark features a
for the Cardinals' mascot, "Fredbird"
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.
3 entrance on the west side of the stadium is most iconic, with a
large "bridge" resembling the Eads Bridge arching over the entrance.
entrance also 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 exterior contains historical plaques of Cardinals
logos, the STL insignia and a Busch Stadium logo behind home
After St. Louis
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.
The planned Ballpark Village residential and entertainment complex
was to be built on the site of the former Busch Memorial Stadium
across the street from the new ballpark. Plans have not
materialized and Cardinals in March 2009 said they will use the old
park for a softball field and parking lot during the game.
Following Juan Encarnación
face injury on August 31
, workers extended the screen from dugout to dugout
during the 07-08 off season.
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
- Ballparks of Baseball article regarding funding and
construction of the stadium
- "New plan calls for $333 million stadium, plus Ballpark Village
complex," Saint Louis Post-Dispatch,
- "Cardinals looking at site near Gateway Raceway,"
Saint Louis Post-Dispatch,
August 16, .
- Bonetti, David. Q&A With The Architect: 'It's not totally
retro'. St.Louis Post-Dispatch. April 6th, 2006.
- Storm damages Busch Stadium; Cards-Braves
delayed from ESPN.com