Busch Stadium: From Old to New

Busch Stadium: From Old to New

was one of the most attractive stadiums in baseball. Originally constructed as a multi purpose venue, it was the talk of St Louis. Featuring the famous ‘Crown of the Arches’ to compliment the St Louis ‘Gateway Arch’, the stadium became best known as the pride of The Cardinals. The original name that it was given was Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium, however in 1982 they decided to change the name to it’s now well known ‘Busch Stadium’. The venue was named after the famous family of the team’s ownership, the Anheuser-Busch, Busch Family.

Cardinal fans cherished the original grass playing field, which gave it a hometown feel, but, due to difficulty in keeping it maintained, it was changed to Astroturf in 1970. Oddly, in the 1990’s the stadium began to fall in disrepair and part of the renovations included ripping up the Astroturf and replacing it with natural grass. Hand-operated scoreboards were also installed to keep the fans updated during a game. Home of The St Louis Cardinals football team and The St Louis Cardinals national baseball team, there isn’t a fan in the State of Missouri that isn’t familiar with Busch Stadium.

While it was originally referred to as a ‘cookie-cutter’ stadium due to similarity with so many other stadiums, it was beloved by those that walked through its doors. Sports wasn’t the only happening event. Busch Stadium hosted concerts, the like of which included: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Jefferson Starship, Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Paul McCartney during The New World Tour. You might have recognized the stadium in the movie “The Black Hole” where the stadium was sucked up by a black hole or the movie “Supernova” where a meteor destroys the city of St. Louis. Not all viewing involved destruction, however, at any time you could see from 49,000-60,000 people in the stands (depending upon the event).

In the late 1980’s, the owner of the NFL team pursued getting a larger stadium. His unsuccessful efforts led to the decision to move the team Phoenix, in 1987. Much to the heartbreak of St. Louis fans, their beloved location was scheduled to be imploded for the demolition. To protect the nearby Metro subway rail line, a decision was made to instead, remove the stadium via wrecking ball and demolition began in Nov. 2005. Plans were made to place boutiques, restaurants and condominiums in place of the old stadium, calling it “Ballpark Village”. Plans fell through and the local community began calling the rain drenched location ‘Lake Dewitt”. In 2009, The Cardinals announced the location would be used as a softball field and parking.

The New Busch Stadium (also called Busch Stadium III) was opened in 2006, featuring a seating capacity of 46,000 and fitted with every electronic scoreboard and fan-friendly device available. It occupies part of the former stadium’s footprint – it is by no means even comparable. The new stadium has gone on to host numerous World Series and Play Off games and continues to offer concerts and exciting events for the St. Louis area fans.

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