Busch Stadium III

100_9112— Matt Nelson

(Click here for a seperate St. Louis post)

It’s a bad sign when the temperatures are so hot that somebody passes out and falls at a night game. Of course I didn’t attend the night game, I attended the Saturday afternoon game the next day. Brilliant planning. Why the Cardinals originally scheduled it for a 12:15 start I will never understand. Despite the city’s best attempts, the game was not moved to the evening.

100_9117The temperature was 92 degrees for the first pitch. It rose to a high of 97 later in the game and factoring in the heat index, it felt like it was a little under 110.

100_9125My pregnant wife was a trooper and did very well in the heat. We all were helped by the fact that we moved up a level and into the shade after 1.5 innings. It felt somewhat cooler there. Credit the Cardinals for giving away free water and having misters in different spots of the ballpark as well. The ushers were also doing a good job of moving older fans to shaded seats. The $10 I spent the day before on my own mister might be the best $10 I’ve ever spent.

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The View From the Gateway Arch

As for the game, my beloved Twins just couldn’t get it done Saturday(although they did take 2 of 3 in the series). Squandering opportunities with runners in scoring position and giving Pujols pitches right down the groove, two of which he hit out of the yard.

This was my third visit to Busch Stadium III. I saw Royals v. Cardinals games in both 2006 and 2008. The ballpark is very nice and there’s nothing wrong with it. At the same time, there’s nothing that stands out about it either. The view of downtown is very nice and you know you’re in St. Louis because of the great view of the Arch.

100_2038The brick on the exterior works nicely with the Redbird theme. Some of the steel on the lights and stadium exterior were built to resemble the historic Eads Bridge.

100_9100One thing that I saw this time around that I hadn’ t noticed in the past, are spots in the left and center field concourse where the Busch Stadium II dimensions are marked within the new ballpark.

100_9118The biggest problem with Busch Stadium III right now is still the uncompleted ballpark village. The area just beyond left and center field is supposed to be filled with new multi-use development, but that hasn’t happened yet. At least it’s gone from being a pit to a parking lot, but it’s still an eyesore. Someday they will get their ballpark village built. Too bad it didn’t happen in time for the All-Star Game, which Busch Stadium III hosts on July 14.

The best thing about going to a game in St. Louis are the fans. They really get into the game, and they really know their baseball. That raises Busch Stadium III from being an average ballpark to slightly above average in the new age of stadiums.

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Plenty of Open Seats in the Sun
Plenty of Open Seats in the Sun

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