Game #10....Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Cardinals
Busch Stadium.....home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Busch Stadium is actually the 3rd Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The first Busch Stadium was renamed in 1953 from Sportsman's Park to Busch Stadium after the owner of the team, August Busch Jr. The original name that he wanted was Budweiser Stadium but MLB rules prevents stadiums from being named after an alcoholic beverage, so he named it after himself. Later Anheuser-Busch develop a "Busch Beer". Busch Stadium II was the same cookie cutter multi use stadium that was around in the 60's when it opened in 1966 until it's last game in 2005. The newest Busch Stadium opened in 2006.
The final game at Busch Stadium II was on October 19, 2005. With the last game played, they needed to tear down the stadium to make way for the remainder of the new stadium being built. Part of Busch Stadium II was sitting in what would be left and center field for the new stadium, Busch Stadium III. It took just under a month for them to tear down the old stadium so that the new stadium could open for the 2006 season. On opening day the stadium was still not complete but was able to open with a capacity of 37,962 seats. The remaining seating in Left Field was completed for the May 29, 2006 game increasing capacity to 46,861. The Cardinals sold out every game for the 2006 season.
Total cost for the stadium was $365 million with an additional $300 million set to build Ballpark Village. Ballpark Village was supposed to be ready for the 2009 All Star Game but groundbreaking didn't take place until 2013. The Ballpark Village is an entertainment and dining district and it opened in 2014 as Phase 1. Phase 2 opened in 2021 with an apartment building, a hotel, and some additional restaurants. Part of Phase 1 was the Budweiser Brew House, a 20,000 sq. ft. brew house with over 100 beers and they have a rooftop seating section with views into the stadium....like Wrigley Field.
The first Regular season game played at Busch Stadium III was on April 10, 2006 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals would go on to win the World Series in their first year in their new ballpark, defeating the Detroit Tigers 4 games to 2. This was their 10th World Series Championship. The Cardinals would go on to win their 11th World Series in 2011.
Very picturesque stadium with the St. Louis Gateway Arch in the background out in Centerfield. Past Left-Center and Center Fields you can see the Ballpark Village in the background with the roof top seating like Wrigley Field. I like that the outfield wall didn't have an angles or turns in them. Just your typical curve through out the length of the wall.
There was plenty of parking near by with it being downtown, there were enough parking garages. Unfortunately there is no RV parking near the stadium. We were staying at the RV park at the DraftKings at Casino Queen. This is across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, Illinois. Not the greatest RV park, as it was only a parking lot with your typical hookups for RVs. They really needed to cut the grass around the area as it was high and a tick and flea breeding ground....not great if you had a pet with you (we do). The hotel there offers a free shuttle service to and from the game. The shuttle service was offered to take to the game until the end of the 2nd innings and then would be available to pick up from the stadium starting in the top of the 7th inning. We did notice quite a few people parking in the Casino Hotel lot and then walking over to the shuttle. The casino was not much to talk about. Small and only had 1 restaurant in there. They were in the process of building a food court but not open when we were there.
Concessions where everywhere. No problem getting food at any area around the park. We were up on the 3rd level and they had plenty up there. We have learned though that if you want the best food to get it down on the field level concessions and take with you up to your level. Unless you just want the basic food options at the game.....hot dog, popcorn, chicken tenders...etc.
First Pitch at 7:19pm.......9 minutes late due to Jordon Hicks the starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Once the first batter approached the batters box, the umpires gathered around the infield and discussed something. They looked at Jordan Hicks glove and determined it was not allowed due to it being multi-colored. The Cardinals brought our another glove and it was also rejected, then they brought out 3 gloves and asked which one would work. Once Jordan Hicks chose his glove he had to throw a few more warm up pitches......so now the game starts 9 minutes late. Everyone wondering what was happening and since my wife needs to know what is happening, she brings a radio with her to listen to the home broadcast of the games.
Not much happening for the home team as we witnessed another home team losing while we were in attendance. Edman for the Cardinals lead off with a walk. He was then able to steal 2nd and move to 3rd on a wild pitch by Logan Webb. He will score on a ground out by Goldschmidt. That about does it for the Cardinals for the game until the 8th when Goldschmidt hits a solo home run in the bottom of the inning. Meanwhile the Giants were leading a close game at 3-1 going into the 8th when they closed the door and added 5 more runs off of 2 Cardinal pitchers. The Giants ended up with 8 hits but also had 7 walks. The Giants used 4 pitchers while only giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks.
My rating for this stadium was an A. The features of the park and the views were fabulous. Seeing the Gateway Arch in centerfield was very cool. It was very easy getting into the game and getting out. Food was good and it was the typical pricing as other stadiums.