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Busch Stadium

St Louis, MO

Home of the St. Louis Cardinals

4.9

4.3

Busch Stadium (map it)
700 Clark St
St Louis, MO 63102


St. Louis Cardinals website

Busch Stadium website

Year Opened: 2006

Capacity: 50,345

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Feels Just as New as a Decade Ago

It is difficult to imagine that Busch Stadium is entering a tenth year of service. It seems like yesterday the new ballpark replaced the old one, sharing part of a footprint after the 2005 season ended and during completion of the final stages of the new ballpark. Visit today and you would still believe it is a new ballpark.

In recent years, the club has added features in the surrounding blocks and have committed to a constantly evolving menu, elevating the home of the St. Louis Cardinals among the gold standard of MLB experiences.

Added to the many wonderful things Busch Stadium has to offer, in 2015, you can enjoy a more diverse and particularly tasty menu inside the ballpark and an overwhelmingly wonderful experience at Ballpark Village, just outside the left field perimeter of the stadium footprint.

4.9

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    5

Just when you think it can't get better, it does. A product of monitoring trends as well as pioneering new efforts, there is so much to enjoy at Busch Stadium. I encourage visitors to try something completely new, but also know the favorites will be available at a fair price.

The Cardinals have long been committed to making the baseball experience affordable. You can still bring your own food and drink into the ballpark, with a few exceptions. Only soft-sided coolers no greater than 16 x 16 x 8 are allowed. No alcohol, cans or glass and your plastic bottles must be unopened when you enter. This will save you quite a bit of money once you get inside. Vendors outside of the stadium offer lower pricing than what you would pay inside, too. Consider the vendor along Broadway, across from Gate 1. T-Dawgs Puppys is the best!

As for the items most commonly found at MLB baseball stadiums for comparison sake, a 16 oz. bottle of beer is $8.25, a jumbo hot dog basket which includes chips and a soda is $9, a 20 oz. bottled soda is $5.50, bottled water is $5.25, and a bag of peanuts is $4.75.

In a creative way to drive additional sales, most hot dogs and similar items are shown as part of a package which includes chips or fries, plus a drink. Hot dogs can be purchased separately. Just subtract $2.25 from each of these packages to get the hot dog-only price.

Now to the new stuff, and in the 2015 season, bacon is the operative word.

At section 109 and 446, you can find All About the Bacon. Try the Extreme Bacon Sandwich, a slice of barbecue-spiced ground pork wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon and stuffed with cheddar cheese and more bacon, glazed with barbecue sauce and drizzled with barbecue aioli, served on a locally baked Hawaiian bun. It is accompanied by a bag of maple bacon-flavored potato chips for $12.

Or try the new bacon-cheddar bratwurst for $6.50, a locally produced bratwurst stuffed with chopped bacon and cheddar cheese, topped with barbecue sauce and served on a bun.

How about two Belgian waffles with a choice of three fillings? Choose from fried chicken breast with maple bacon gravy; chicken carnitas with bacon, pico de gallo and ranch dressing; or barbecued pulled pork with coleslaw and barbecue sauce. Served with a mound of tater tots in a white queso cheese sauce on the side, the $15 meal will come in a cardboard container in the shape of home plate.

If bacon is off your menu, consider walking tacos ($8.50), a new take on the traditional nachos, far and away Busch Stadium's most popular type of food. Now they are portable, inside an open bag of Fritos or Doritos served as the usual tortilla chips as the base for the familiar nacho toppings of beef, pulled pork or chicken. Shrimp-topped walking tacos will be available only at the Island Grill concession stand at section 144.

There are plenty of burgers, too, with three new options. A turkey burger ($12) includes a Tex-Mex treatment with arugula, guacamole and pico de gallo, plus a side of house-fried tortilla chips. The double gooey burger will consist of two grilled beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and tomato on a Hawaiian bun, for $15. The quadruple gooey burger will be the same thing but with twice as much meat, a full pound, and double the cheese, for $18.75. The latter is likely a share option.

Deep-fried Oreo cookies are here in 2015 ($8). Soft pretzels will now be offered in bite-sized popper size ($7) and in a large, 7-ounce, heartily flavored Bavarian style for $6.75.

Those with a sweet tooth can also be satisfied with a big kahuna, a giant, 8-ounce ice-cream sandwich on chocolate-chip cookies for $6.50, or with an Oreo churro (a long, Mexican doughnut) made from Oreo batter, served with an Oreo crème dipping sauce.

There are about 10 more, yet-to-be named items which will be offered before the All-Star break before some planned choices for the postseason.

Pick up a two-sided guide to the culinary pleasures of Busch Stadium at Guest Relations near section 147.

Atmosphere    5

On the day you come to Busch Stadium, wear red and get caught up in Cardinal Nation. Take it in like a hometown fan would.

First, carefully choose where to sit. Home plate is in the southwest corner of the field and the batter looks northeast. From home plate, the right field line runs east while the left field line runs north. This is important as you consider sun exposure during the game.

Field dimensions are 336 feet to left, 375 to left-center, 400 to center, 375 to right-center, and 335 to right. There is some space in the infield foul territory, but the space narrows as the seating area meets the foul poles just thirty feet shy of the outfield wall.

Airflow through the stadium is good. For afternoon games, the sun comes up the back of the right field wall, but just a bit south of the structure. If you want to stay out of the sun, consider a ticket in the rear rows along the first base side.

In most sections, the rear-most ten rows of each section are covered by overhead awning and you can get a ticket in the upper level near the foul pole in right field for just $5.

For evening games, the sun falls behind the third base side. Avoid seats in the right field area at all games because you will get sun and heat for most of the game. Seats in center field are prime melanoma areas, no matter what the start time.

In terms of best value, the Cardinals implement tiered pricing, getting higher prices for top dates and opponents. There really is never any reason to pay full-price for a ticket with many promotions. One is the AAA discount, half-off Monday through Wednesday games.

Also, if you want to buy online, but avoid a fee; consider picking up tickets at one of the self-serve kiosks surrounding the ballpark.

Best seats for an afternoon game are Infield Pavilion level, sections 344-348. For an evening game, consider that same level, but sections 352-357. Here, you sit behind home plate with a magnificent view of the arch and shade from the sun. Full price tickets here are usually about $30.

Ballpark Village also provides an option, but all seats are across the street behind left field. Options include the AT&T Rooftop, all-inclusive food and drink with assigned seats ($75-$250 depending upon the date and opponent) to watch the game. The menu changes regularly to keep the offerings new and fresh. Admission to the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is included with your ticket.

A less expensive option is the Budweiser Rooftop Deck where there are no assigned seats and food is not included in the price of admission. Tickets can be purchased one month prior to the game in question. You can gain access to the stadium with your ticket after checking in at the rooftop deck.

Make it a priority to purchase a program, Cardinals Magazine, with scorecard insert for just $5. BUT, only buy it from Joe Palermo. He is just INSIDE the third base entrance where the Stan Musial statue greets fans. Joe has sold programs at St. Louis sporting events for the last 50 years. He is yet another layer of the fabric woven into St. Louis baseball legend. He is friendly and conversational. He is a walking Cardinals encyclopedia. Make sure to view his daily trivia question, posted at the left side of his counter.

As you enter the main concourse, one of the first things you might notice is, unlike many new stadiums built in the last 20 years, nearly the entire main concourse is dark, closed off from viewing the game. It remains one of the few disappointing elements of Busch Stadium.

Cleverly, though, the old scoreboard from the last Busch Stadium game is mounted on the south façade of the building, keeping the noise muffled from Highway 40/64, just 10 feet away from the building. Notice the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the lower right corner.

Because of this element, the venue lacks the inclusive feel you experience in nearly every other ballpark. This can be such an exciting element, to never miss a play. The concourses in the upper levels do provide a view and are wide and breezy.

Restrooms, food choices and merchandise are plentiful at all levels, but the specialty items mentioned earlier are largely only available in the main concourse.

Access to the upper levels can be gained through ramps, stairs, elevators, and escalators. The ramps take a while to get to the upper levels and the steps are not too much of a pleasure either. Find an escalator; the quickest one seems to be along the third base side. Elevators are tucked away near the stairwells so while they are there, you have to look for them.

In terms of team pageantry, there are thirteen retired numbers which can be seen in two places, along the left field padded wall starting near the foul pole and on the lower edge of the center field scoreboard. See if you can tell which players and officials are represented by symbols and why.

The World Series pennants in right center high atop the scoreboard commemorate the 11 titles captured, second most in the major leagues.

Kids and fans of all ages enjoy Fredbird, the Cardinals mascot. Introduced in 1979 by the late Cardinals Marketing Executive Marty Hendin, Fredbird has reached a level of popularity close to the Phillie Phanatic.

Being connected and plugged in, even while at the game, is improving with the addition of Wi-Fi throughout the stadium sometime around mid-Summer of 2015.

Neighborhood    4

Busch Stadium lies downtown St Louis, about a half mile west of the Gateway Arch. The year-old Ballpark Village has transformed the stadium neighborhood.

All in one spot, you have a variety of dining options, some finer than others, music and entertainment, the Team Hall of Fame, an outdoor picnic area, a broadcast position and the large atrium featuring a wide range of seating options and views of the many monitors and one gigantic television.

However, consider enjoying this area when the Cardinals are out of town or the day before a home stand begins or once one ends.

South of the ballpark and within walking distance, Paddy-O's and Broadway Oyster Bar are good choices.

Fans    5

There may not be any better combination of things to enjoy than at Busch Stadium, but a magical piece of that is what the fans represent to the process. In few other ballparks will you witness applause for visiting players who make a great play or reach a milestone.

Fans in St. Louis do not need to be prompted by a scoreboard to know when something historic is happening. For instance, when Jeff Bagwell's last career plate appearance in St. Louis was about to take place, Cardinals fans stood for several minutes before he saw the first pitch. Magical is the best way to describe the atmosphere as provided by Cardinal Nation.

If you choose to see your favorite team play the Cardinals, be comfortable in wearing your team's colors. However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the experience, wear Cardinals gear or at least red.

Access    5

There are several transportation options depending on price and convenience. Parking is ample throughout downtown, either in stadium parking garages, small as well as large surface lots or metered parking.

Parking garages near the stadium are $20-$25. Go a little further south on Broadway, behind the right field edge and you can find $12-$15 just a few blocks from the higher priced lots.

There are two large, seven-level parking lots a block north of the stadium, one to the east, the other to the west. Parking lots of various sizes can be found south and west of the stadium. You can get a pretty good spot for $10 and only have to walk just a quarter to a half mile.

A cheaper option involves street-meter parking. After 7:00 PM, meters are free Mon-Sat (Sunday is FREE). Because you can park for a maximum of two hours at a time during chargeable time, find a spot around 5:00 PM, load quarters, up until $2 for 2 hours, and your parking ends up being pretty cheap.

A final option is MetroLink, the light rail system. Avoid traffic as the trains are neat, clean and safe. There is a station on the west side across from the famed Stan Musial statue called the "Stadium" stop. There are two lines, red and blue, who share the track from the Forest Park - DeBaliviere stop to just over the Mississippi river into Illinois.

Cost is $2.50 one-way or $5 round trip. Reduced fares of $1.25 are offered to seniors 65+, customers with disabilities, customers who possess a valid Medicare ID, and children aged 5 through 12. Buy your ticket at the automated kiosk, validate the ticket when you get ready to use it, travel within two hours of validation and board the train. Security randomly checks tickets and issues citations on the spot so be careful to ensure you have a valid ticket.

Return on Investment    5

In making a commitment to keep Cardinals baseball affordable, some ticket prices are as low as $5 on many nights. Programs are just $5 and are a good value with great articles and colorful photo essays. Each program includes a scorecard. Add a pencil for $1.

Food is very fairly priced with opportunity for you to get more or better quality food for a little more. Consider, though, the Cardinals allow you to bring food to the game provided you follow their rules. I suggest bringing the necessities to the game and spend money inside on a tasty bratwurst or bagel dog.

Merchandise is fairly priced. Parking is average with some cheap options, but you can't beat the light rail price of $5 roundtrip.

There are many reasons the Cardinals annually surpass the 3,000,000 mark in attendance and among them is affordability.

Extras    5

BALLPARK VILLAGE - I often tell people to spend time there early on game day or on a day when the Cardinals are not playing. There is so much to see and do and you just cannot enjoy it the way you should right before game time.

Consider visiting the atrium, a large dining and drinking area featuring a roof which opens and closes depending upon the weather and temperature; Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a St. Louis tradition brought to the ballpark for the first time, several restaurants each with their own entertainment, rooftop seating like that which is enjoyed at Chicago's Wrigley Field and the Team Hall of Fame and Museum. The food and drink options are endless.

The Team Hall of Fame and Museum, at 8,000 square feet, is the largest baseball Hall of Fame outside Cooperstown. It magnificently captures the early beginnings of the team before they were the Cardinals. It comprehensively covers all the little details in between eras including how the team was named, uniform changes through the years, World Series history, test your broadcasting skills, and a "Holding History" exhibit which I guarantee is like nothing you have ever witnessed.

Whatever you do, do not miss the four-minute movie which plays upon entrance. Have a seat, become a Cardinal fan, enjoy the film and wipe your tears when it is over. The price is $12 for adults, $10 for military and those 60+ and $8 for children 15 and under. This is the same price as the tour, but you can get a combo ticket for both at $18 ($16 and $14 per respective visitors detailed above).

RADIO BROADCASTS - Many fans listen to the live games they attend through KMOX 1120 AM, a fixture for Cardinals baseball for decades despite the five-year interruption late in the last decade. John Rooney and former Cardinals catcher Mike Shannon call an entertaining game.

BALLPARK TOURS - A tour of Busch Stadium is a must if you can fit it into your schedule. Lasting one hour and beginning at Gate 3, your trip includes a visit to the Redbird Club, press box/suite level, Cardinals' Club, Cardinals' dugout and other unique areas in the ballpark. On game day, you will probably come across some players arriving and taking some swings in the batting case.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (60+) and military with ID and $8 for Children (15 and under). Children 3 or under are free, limit three per family or group. Groups of 25 or more people have the opportunity to book their own tour. This must be scheduled at least 14 days in advance and require payment in full at time of booking.

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP LOCATION - The national chain of children's toy bear stores is represented at the ballpark, the only such in-stadium location in the country after Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia closed their version last season. The St. Louis-based retailer is a natural fit for the Cardinals and includes a number of exclusives only found inside the stadium on game day.

Fans have an opportunity to purchase a stuffed Fredbird (the Cardinals mascot) for $24, Clydesdale (iconic brewery symbol) for $24, Cooperstown Dugout Bear for $20 and Tie-Dye Monkey for $18. You can buy accessories such as bear catching gear for $15 and assorted equipment and visiting team jerseys as well.

MERCHANDISE AND GAME AUTHENTICS - The array of merchandise is incredible and there are many different ways to take home a piece of Busch Stadium and the game experience. While you will find some high-end items, the majority of purchase items are highly affordable.

And don't miss the Cardinals Authentics store. Official and Game Used Collectibles can be found just inside and to the right of Gate 6. Even if you are not into game used stuff, at least take a walk through the huge store. There is pretty neat stuff. You can get used batting helmets, game-used balls, and just about anything else you could want. Keep in mind though, this is a store with one-of-a-kind items and unique collectibles.

FOR THE KIDS - For the little ones, there is the US Cellular Family Pavilion which offers lots of fun games for a small fee such as t-ball and batting cages to test your swing, speed gun to see how fast you can throw and a soft playground area under cover with places for parents to sit and watch the game while their children climb and crawl. Team mascot Fredbird makes frequent appearances in this area.

Took the tour of Busch Stadium yesterday. Not only do you get a lot of good information about the cu

Took the tour of Busch Stadium yesterday. Not only do you get a lot of good information about the current park, but also about the history of this storied franchise and great baseball city. There are a lot of built-in anti-Cubs jokes so folks from Chicago should bring an extra layer of skin. It really is a beautiful stadium, and having the chance to sit in the dugout and go down on the field is well worth the $10 price tag for the tour.

by paul | Jul 31, 2010 09:27 AM

Access to stadium is easy if you are staying at a hotel downtown, but if driving, you will have a ha

Access to stadium is easy if you are staying at a hotel downtown, but if driving, you will have a hard time finding parking downtown during a busy weekend series.
Outside the stadium looks nice, but to me is just another cookie cutter HOK Sport Retro stadium.
Once inside the best thing it has going for is it's view of the arch. If you squint your eyes just right you can blend out the hundreds of ads plastered over every square inch of the place. They did remind me to take all of my medications for the day though.
Whoever is running the place needs to be fired. The start was delayed for about 15 minutes because they couldn't find anybody to come out to catch the 8 "ceremonial first pitches".
Also, for at least 3 innings they had the wrong opposing teams information and lineups on the scoreboard. They announced the right players but had the gigantic pictures and stats up from some other team. Scary to think it took them 3 innings to notice and fix it.

by Scottie84 | Oct 15, 2010 05:42 AM

One of the best

I've been to 5 MLB stadiums and this is by far the best. It has all the amenities you need, and the fan atmosphere can not be beat.

by MikeStunson | Dec 28, 2010 08:22 AM

Mmm

The turkey leg is fantastic!

by fookayooka | Apr 19, 2011 10:46 AM

Review way too long

I visited Busch Stadium earlier in this 2013 season and found it to be the best 'game-day' operations of any MLB stadium I've attended. The Cardinals organization and the fans know how to present a game-day perfectly.

I found this review way too long to be of use as a stadium journeyer. The review has lots of valuable information but it is too much to digest in one sitting or review.

Perhaps a summary of the top three recommendations for food/beverage, atmosphere, and neighborhood would make it more conducive to those traveling to St. Louis to visit a Cardinals game.

by megminard | Jul 02, 2013 10:43 PM

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Crowd Reviews

Third Time's the Charm

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

The St. Louis Cardinals rival the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs as the most popular teams over the last century of baseball.

And for the greater part of their history, the Cardinals called "Busch Stadium" home. However, there have actually been three Busch Stadiums, with the current one opening in 2006.

Incidentally, the Cardinals joined the Yankees as the only team to win the World Series during the first year in a new stadium.

The ballpark is chock full of historic quirks and facets. The centerfield gate (Gate 5) is actually centerfield of the second Busch Stadium. Painted lines mark the locations of the old foul lines and outfield wall. The new stadium was basically fully completed in 2005, but the team had to wait for the end of the season to complete it since the ballparks overlapped.

Gate 3 is a tremendous sight for any true baseball fan. Though Albert Pujols is the talk of the town these days in St. Louis, Stan Musial remains the most revered Cardinal of all time. A brass statue of "Stan the Man" sits outside the stadium under Musial Bridge - modeled after the historic Eads Bridge that was the first bridge to cross the Mississippi River in St. Louis.

Though the Anheuser Busch, Co. no longer owns the Cardinals, the company provided enough money to keep the naming rights to the stadium. It's hard to imagine the Cardinals playing anywhere but some version of a Busch Stadium.

As the public address announcer says before every home game, "Welcome to Baseball Heaven." Busch Stadium is truly a baseball heaven for the scores of fans that visit each year.

Head to Busch Stadium

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

Like most Major League stadiums that have been constructed in this decade, the newest incarnation of St. Louis's Busch Stadium is designed to invoke nostalgia for baseball's rich past. To me, this is a cynical attempt by team owners and league officials to make fans forget about steroids, multi-million dollar contract negotiations, and other distractions that plague appreciation for the modern game. Of course, the players that fans pay to watch in these monuments to the sports' glory days are often less than honorable. It should also be noted that this new crop of old fashioned stadiums cost a lot more to build than the old parks did, and are generally funded by questionable corporate partnerships and corrupt tax scams.

Still, for any fan willing to ignore all of this, it must be said that Busch is a perfectly pleasant place to spend an evening and see a game. With the red brick facade of the stadium, the red seats inside, and the red jerseys worn by the extremely loyal and enthusiastic spectators, every game here is played in a sea of cardinal red. It is the center of one of the greatest baseball cities in America, it is rare to hear a conversation in St. Louis that doesn't revolve around the latest exploits of the beloved storied franchise, and Busch makes for a comfortable venue to watch the Cardinals in action.

Plus, St. Louis usually has a good scrappy team of contenders which can be a lot of fun to watch. Busch Stadium gives sports fans the chance to see one of the greatest players in the long history of the game, Albert Pujols, perform in his natural environment.

This ballpark bills itself as "Baseball Heaven", which is an obvious bit of marketing hyperbole. Admittedly, it doesn't have the charm or the history of Wrigley or Fenway. However, when it comes to a good place to watch a close ballgame, fans could certainly do a lot worse than watching the Cardinals play at Busch Stadium.

Great, Great, Great

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Awesome food, including giant smoked turkey legs, the most knowledgeable fans in baseball, and the chance to see the best player in baseball are all major contributors to making this one of the best experiences in the Majors. The sense of history is completely enmeshed with the modern luxuries of the new park.

Delightfully Mediocre

Total Score: 3.71

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

I had been the old Busch Stadium before, and was excited to see this new version. Cubs vs. Cardinals, can't do much better then that. Plus, I was very surprised to find tickets for under face value on both eBay and StubHub. It was hotter then hell, and if you are like me and don't want to be square in the sun on a 100 degree day, I recommend section 344, which is in the maybe 5 percent of the stadium that isn't in constant sunlight. The stadium never got to more then 2/3 full, which I thought was weird for such an intense rivalry, but I will give the fans a pass because of the extreme weather. My favorite thing was the access to other sections...at Wrigley, they have become horrible and will not let you into other sections if you don't have a ticket, even in pregame. At Busch, if there were open seats, you could have at 'em. We got in just as the doors opened and watched batting pratice from the bleachers...I even caught a ball from Geovany Soto.By far, the worst thing about Busch was the food. At $8.75 a beer, especially for crap like Bud, I didn't even have a desire for one. (incidentally, I think of the now 27 MLB parks I have been to, this was the third most expensive beer.) I had a great brisket sandwich for $9 right away, but by the fourth inning, the concession stands near us were all out of everything but the normal hot dogs and burgers...they were out of the brisket, pulled pork, and turkey legs. Plus, the lines were not very long, and took forever to get through. I missed over an inning!!!! The fans were great, though many had left by the Cards comeback attempt in the ninth inning. Parking was a breeze...if you don't mind getting there early, you can park less then two minutes away for $10...a bargain by Cubs fan standards. The outside statue garden is great...much like Comerica in Detroit. I proudly wore my Andre Dawson jersey, and didn't hear anything from anyone, which differed from the intense mocking I had heard about. Aesthetically, the view over centerfield is awesome...the arch and the small St. Louis skyline are great, and in the evening I bet look incredible, like a poor man's Pittsburgh with the Roberto Clemente bridge in full view. It is a little Cookie Cutterish from the inside, like most new stadiums, but nice enough. It took us just under four hours to get there from the Chicago suburbs, so I heartily recommend a road trip for all Cubs fans...we left at 7AM, were there by 11, and could have left to come home at 5, which would have put us home at 9. Good times!!!

Busch Stadium and Cardinals Baseball, As Magical as America's Pastime Gets

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

When historic baseball franchises are mentioned, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs are frequently the subject matter. Championships, longevity and in at least one case, infamy, carry the discussion forward. But there is a franchise based on the banks of the Mississippi River which has created a magical atmosphere, one that has brought great success and a fan experience that is unparalleled in Major League Baseball.

Founded in 1892, the St. Louis Cardinals franchise was the westernmost club in pro ball until the Dodgers and Giants moved from Brooklyn and New York at the end of the 1957 season. This distinction provided a magnificent marketing opportunity for the team to attract generations of fans from far away over the first half of the century. To this day, the club conducts what is called the Cardinals Caravan, a campaign to sell partial season ticket packages to fans in a twelve-state region around Missouri.

The experience has been refined and perfected over the years. When the Busch family bought the team, they recommitted to a winning culture after many bad seasons in the 1970s. The 1980s featured WhiteyBall, winning teams, three pennants and one World Series Title in 1982. When the Busch family sold to a group led by Bill Dewitt, Jr. in the 1990s, the team was coming off poor seasons and the new owner put the club back on track. Since then, Cardinals fans have been treated to entertaining baseball with successful results and a rewarding in-person experience which is among the best in all of sports.

I remember hearing the late Cardinals’ marketing executive, Marty Hendin, say you cannot control the result on the field, but you can control making sure a person leaves the game feeling like they received good entertainment value for their money and time spent. Having appreciated world-class guest service at restaurants, hotel and theme parks throughout the world, the experience at Busch Stadium for a Cardinals game is similar to what a guest experiences at Disney World. You are greeted upon entry with remarks such as “Good morning” and “Enjoy the game!” Because you have a ticket for the game, you are an invited guest, one of 50,000 Cardinals fans, who, if even for just one game, make you feel like you are part of the family.

There are a few things to know about the new stadium relative to its predecessor. The new stadium, Busch Stadium III, is partially on the site of Busch Stadium II. When they built the new stadium, they completed one half of the stadium before the 2005 season was completed. If you drew a line from about where the Stan Musial statue sits on the West side of the stadium due east to right field and then took the length of that area and took the entire plane south to Highway 40/64, you might be able to envision the first phase. The stadium is within ten feet of the highway, but the noise is buffered thanks to the installation of the scoreboard in two pieces from Busch Stadium II, each with the statistics from when the final game ended. It was about four weeks after the season ended before demolition occurred.

One week after the season ended in mid-October with a loss in six games to the Houston Astros in the 2005 National League Championship Series, the old stadium was completely demolished to make way for the area that would be the right field and center field areas. This was completed in just more than five months. When you look out behind center field or even more visibly, behind left field, you are looking at where the stadium once stood. More accurately, you would be looking from the right field or center field of the old stadium toward home plate.

As Magical as America's Pastime Gets

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

When a team with over 120 years of tradition builds a new ballpark, fans take notice with concern and hope. The concern applies to how the franchise will connect the past with the present along with planning for the future and the hope is that it will be done in such a way to appeal to fans across multiple generations from all corners of baseball fandom, in this case Cardinal Nation.

In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals began play in their fifth stadium and the transition blended the past with the present with an eye toward the future. The club kicked off the new ballpark in style, winning the World Series against the Detroit Tigers that year. While the franchise has continued their competitive play since then, ownership understands the importance of keeping the entertainment experience fresh and rewarding.

The club continues to make minor tweaks along the way with one major tweak set over the next few years. The minor tweaks are detailed in this updated review. The major tweak is the groundbreaking of Ballpark Village, a retail, entertainment and dining enterprise just beyond the right field and center field areas of the ballpark perimeter which will make the area more of a destination than it already is on game day.

Some owners believe the only way to keep fans happy is by winning and that is in fact true. But Cardinals fans tend to demand more than just success on the field which speaks to why the team has enjoyed widespread support and over 3,000,000 annual fans through the gate each season but one over the last fifteen years.

Fans of the Redbirds appreciate and support these winning teams, but they demand an all-around experience when attending games. It is not enough to cheer a winning team; you have to live it from earlier in the day until well after the game has ended. Supporting the Cardinals is a lifestyle, on par with what fans of the Green Bay Packers, Boston Red Sox and Montreal Canadiens enjoy and demand.

Therefore, the game experience must be well-planned with efforts fulfilling the wishes of customers. The club has done a magnificent job of hitting all the important parts and then some, and the steep tradition built over time serves as the foundation for sustained enjoyment. This updated review of the stadium experience at Busch Stadium touches on the rich legacy, proud past, and the ways in which you can enjoy your next visit to one of major league baseball’s finest venues and have it be a lasting impression.

Always the best

Total Score: 4.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

I have never been let down by Busch Stadium and its patrons. Where else can you go and have a creditable chat with almost any fan in the stadium about any topic in baseball? The fans are as respectful of visiting fans as any in the game and probably know baseball better than any other as well.

Busch Stadium

Total Score: 4.00

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 5

Everything about this ballpark screams Cardinals and I think that's cool. Much like Comerica Park in Detroit, the St. Louis Cardinals have put their logo everywhere!! Walking around the outside of the park and seeing all of the historical logos in the brick was really cool as was all of the sidewalk pieces commemorating great moments in the team's history. The giant Stan Musial statue is fantastic and so are all of the smaller statues of other famous Cardinals. Unlike the Yankees, the Cardinals added some nice touches to honor their championship years without being annoying about it. Seeing the arch in the background was really cool and the stadium views are nice.

Sit in the upper deck for the Cards

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 4

Wonderful view of the downtown and Gateway Arch is the highlight of this stadium. Easy to move around, staff friendly and allow you to sit in other seats for pictures, great transit connection from the airport, excellent fans (one of whom gave me a free ticket). Main problem is expensive food, but you can bring your own, which I recommend.

Almost a no hitter

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 2
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 1
  • Extras: 4

Went to the game where Michael Wacha came within an out of throwing a no hitter in just his ninth career start. So that was fantastic.

Everything at the stadium is way overpriced. Easily some of the most expensive food I have ever seen at a baseball game. And the gift shop prices were pretty high up there as well.

Compared to the old Busch Stadium, the views are much nicer, and looks like the neighborhood will soon have rooftops like Wrigley. A great looking park, but a very expensive day at the ballpark.

Ballpark Village Freshens the Atmosphere at Busch Stadium in St. Louis

Total Score: 4.86

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

When a team is building on a 120-year plus legacy, it might be a tough task to keep the atmosphere fresh and vibrant. The current ballpark, christened in 2006, is fantastic, but no longer new anymore. It is a wonderful venue and coupled with an annually competitive team each season, fans continue to flock to see the Cardinals.

But in the spirit of keeping things fresh and providing additional revenue streams for the club, the long-planned Ballpark Village opened for the 2014 season around Busch Stadium, just beyond the left field perimeter. It is a remarkable addition to an already popular locale. With multiple venues and public areas to gather, this area is just as popular on days when the Cardinals are playing away from home as they are when they host an opponent.

Added to the many wonderful things Busch Stadium has to offer, in 2014, you can be sure to enjoy a more enhanced visit with Ballpark Village.

Middle of the pack at best

Total Score: 4.14

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

No team can compete with the devotion of the Cardinals fans, and the game day atmosphere here is top notch. But there is nothing here to make Busch Stadium stand out from the pack. It's a nice enough place to catch a game, but wow, were the concessions expensive. And this is coming from a person who goes to Fenway Park regularly. Ballpark Village gets a lot of publicity recently, but it is nothing that isn't happening at a dozen other ballparks right now.

Beautiful Park

Total Score: 4.43

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 4
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

I really like this park... As a cub fan thats hard to say. I went to a game against the Rockies, while visiting my brother in the area. Awesome experience. I can see why they have such a good program going there every year.

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Local Food & Drink

Mike Shannon's Steak & Seafood  (map it!)

620 Market St

St Louis, MO 63101

(314) 421-1540

http://www.shannonsteak.com/

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse  (map it!)

315 Chestnut St

St Louis, MO 63102

(314) 259-3200

http://www.ruthschris.com/Steak-House/120010/St-Louis/Downtown

J.Buck's  (map it!)

1000 Clark Ave

St Louis, MO 63102

(314) 436-0394

http://jbucks.com/

Charlie Gitto’s  (map it!)

5226 Shaw Ave

St Louis, MO 63110

(314) 772-8898

http://charliegittos.com/

Zia’s  (map it!)

5256 Wilson Ave

St Louis, MO 63110

(314) 776-0020

http://www.zias.com/

Rigazzi’s  (map it!)

4945 Daggett Ave

St Louis, MO 63110

(314) 772-4900

http://www.rigazzis.com/

Lorenzo’s Trattoria  (map it!)

1933 Edwards St

St Louis, MO 63110

(314) 773-2223

http://www.lorenzostrattoria.com/

Giovanni’s on the Hill  (map it!)

5201 Shaw Ave

St Louis, MO 63110

(314) 772-5958

http://www.giovannisonthehill.com/

Kilroy's Bar  (map it!)

720 S 7th St

St Louis, MO 63102

(314) 621-1960

http://www.yelp.com/biz/kilroys-saint-louis

Paddy O's  (map it!)

618 S 7th S

St Louis, MO 63102

(314) 588-7313

http://stlpaddyos.com/

Broadway Oyster Bar  (map it!)

736 S Broadway

St Louis, MO 63102

(314) 621-8811

http://broadwayoysterbar.com/

Local Entertainment

Anheuser-Busch Brewery  (map it!)

12th & Lynch Streets

St. Louis, MO 63118

(314) 577-2626

http://www.budweisertours.com

Gateway Arch  (map it!)

707 N First St

St Louis, MO 63102

(877) 982-1410

http://www.stlouisarch.com/

Italian American Bocce Club  (map it!)

2210 Marconi Ave

St Louis, MO 63110

(314) 773-5574

http://www.stlbocce.com/

Lodging

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark  (map it!)

1 South Broadway

St. Louis, MO 63102

(314) 421-1776

http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/STLBVHF-Hilton-St-Louis-at-the-Ballpark-Missouri/index.do

Westin St Louis  (map it!)

811 Spruce St

St Louis, MO 63102

(314) 621-2000

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1248

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