Capacity: 50,345
Surface: Grass
Opened: May 12, 1966
Cost: $55 Million
Architect: Sverdrup & Parcel and Associates; Edward Durell Stone
L - 330
LC - 372
C - 402
RC - 375
R - 330

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Busch Stadium

Although Busch Stadium was once a multi-purpose facility, it is now one of the best looking stadiums in baseball. For years, there had been talk about a midtown sports stadium in downtown St. Louis. The Cardinals wanted a new ballpark after playing in Sportsman's Park for many years. In the early 1960ís Anheuser-Busch pledged $5 million, and the city pledged $20 million toward a new stadium. On May 24, 1964 ground was broken for a stadium on 30 acres in downtown St. Louis. The Cardinals played their first game on May 12, 1966 at Busch Stadium. Four tiers of 46,068 red seats circle the entire grass playing field, and a $1.5 million scoreboard with an electronic cardinal that chirped was located behind the outfield fence. Busch Stadium was called one of the best stadiums in the country when it opened.

Astroturf replaced natural grass in 1970, so the stadium could be converted from football to baseball more easily. For more than two decades, Busch Stadium did not undergo any more changes. In 1993, severe flooding occurred along the Mississippi River, including downtown St. Louis and Busch Stadium. The stadium suffered some damage to the playing field and other areas.

New ownership retrofitted Busch Stadium in 1995 after football was no longer played at the stadium. Grass replaced the Astroturf, new seats were added, along with new scoreboards. The bullpens were placed behind the outfield fence, and the area behind the outfield was spruced up. A huge manual scoreboard, that also contains retired numbers and championship flags, was built over the seats in the upper deck in centerfield.

Many amenities have been added to Busch Stadium, including the Family Pavilion, which has many games and activities, Homer's Landing, a picnic area overlooking the bullpen in left center field, and a stadium club restaurant and bar. Statues of Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, and Jack Buck are located on the Plaza of Champions outside the stadium.

Although many fans would probably say that they still like and enjoy Busch Stadium, the owners of the Cardinals have committed to building a new ballpark adjacent to Busch Stadium. The new Cardinals ballpark is scheduled to open in April 2006. At one time it was discussed that part of Busch Stadium would have to be demolished for construction of the new ballpark. However it appears that new stadium will be built around Busch Stadium until all of it can be demolished at one time. Busch Stadium will probably be demolished in late 2005 or early 2006. When it closes for good, Busch Stadium will probably be known as one of the best multipurpose stadiums ever built.