Busch Stadium II
St. Louis, Missouri
Year Opened
2006

Current Team
St. Louis Cardinals

Affiliate
N/A

League
National League

Capacity
46,861

Location Map

My Grades
Stadium B+ Atmosphere A Concessions B+

Photos taken in 2006 & 2009
On my first visit to new Busch Stadium, I was somewhat underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong - it is a vast improvement over old Busch Stadium, but compared to other new MLB parks, it doesn't stack up well. It is located just south of where the old stadium was and actually takes up some of the same footprint. The home plate entrance abuts I64, which means that it is somewhat obscured. The exterior is made of familiar red brick, with each corner entrance of the ballpark looking identical. Inside, the first thing you'll notice is that the main concourse is not open to the field. This is odd considering almost every new park built has this feature. I guess here you will miss the action while running out for concessions. The concourse is very spacious, however, and features some of the only reminders of Cardinal history in the ballpark. The old scoreboards have been hung just as the appeared at the end of the last regular season game at Busch. The seating bowl is most reminiscent of Citizens Bank Park, especially in the upper deck where there are two levels and lots of standing room area between the decks. Because there is no club level here, the upper deck doesn't feel as high as in other parks. The outfield features bleacher seating as well as a large concourse that is open to the field. A kid's play area is tucked under the rightfield grandstand, completely out of sight (which is a good thing). One of the best aspects of the new Busch is the setting. In old Busch, it was completely enclosed, so none of the city skyline could be seen. Here, the outfield is open, so the old courthouse, skyscrapers, and of course the Arch are all visible from many of the seats. It does make for a splendid backdrop. Concessions did not impress me at new Busch. While there are plenty of stands, the variety isn't great and the prices are high. Unique menu items include Italian beef, meatball sandwiches, BBQ, and Mexican. Also, there are several Hardee's stands which seem completely out of place. The atmosphere is great, just as it was at old Busch. Outside of Boston, I don't think there are any fans more knowledgeable than those in St. Louis. This is evidenced by the many fans you'll see scoring the game. A few minor complaints about new Busch - first, there are no out of town scoreboards. While they do keep the scores posted on one of the video boards, I'd prefer to see a dedicated scoreboard for other MLB scores. Second, there just doesn't seem to be enough reminders in the park of Cardinal history. With the storied history that this franchise has, you'd expect numerous statues, plaques, or signs to reflect this. But this is simply not the case. Thirdly, large Hardee's and Budweiser signs are built into the upper deck, almost integrated with the seating. These look tacky and out of place. While I doubt the team will change the advertising, hopefully they are addressing the first two complaints. Overall, new Busch Stadium is a serviceable new park, but one that lacks much character. Fortunately the setting is great and the fans knowledgeable, both of which make this a fine place to watch baseball.
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