Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: Croc1 Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: I am a hometown Cardinals fan, but I gave the "new" park (6 years old now) a "B" for reasons below. The open-air outfield makes for great views of the Arch and downtown St. Louis! Cardinal fans are wonderful and very baseball-educated.
Cons of the ballpark: The lower level concourses are way too cramped and closterphobic for a new stadium! Designing a stadium for the retro-look is fine, but make the darn concourses modern and open; I feel like I have to duck down or I will hit my head on the roof. Also, the prices for seats and food is astronomical! For a large family, you'll need a second mortgage if you want decent seats.
Additional Comments:
The Cardinals are perineal winners and sell out virtually every game, so they don't need "gimicks" to draw fans to the park. This works out good and bad for the average-Joe-fan: they get to have a great team with loyal support, but the owners have no incentive to lower ticket prices or make the park more family-friendly. Busch stadium is certainly a wonderful baseball environment, it's just too bad the average middle class family can only go to the park about once per year due to the steep cost.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: Dugan Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: A great place to watch a game. I'm a lifelong Cardinals fan and miss Old Busch, but it was time for an upgrade. Still hot in the summer, but with the outfield open now it does feel a bit better in those hot summer nights. Good sightlines of downtown and the Arch. The seating is a little cramped in some areas and roomy in others. I've sat most everywhere but the bleachers. Tons of places to get food & drinks + adding more restrooms was a major plus. And the roomy concourses helps you get around a lot better. The team store is great for all Cardinal fans, and open most all year round. The Stan Musial statue and others just outside the Team Store give you plenty of photo opportunities. And the Jack Bucks bust is just beyond the centerfield wall. The recent additions to the scoreboard with the Championship flags was a great idea. And the hometown atmosphere makes it all worth while to me. I go at least one a year or more if I can manage.
Cons of the ballpark: Get the wallet ready. As with any new park in the country. Tickets are gonna be high. As is food and drink. I wish there were more promotions than what they have. But I have enjoyed the ones I've been able to get over the past couple of years. Parking can be a hassle. But otherwise, I don't have a gripe.
Additional Comments: Went to a Cubsgame there 2 years ago and was sickened by the way their fans act. But again, I've see them act the same in Cincinnati and Washington. This will always be my favorite park as this is my favorite team. I just hope that the next time they make a World Series I'm able to make it there for just one game.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: P. Ruberton Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: New Busch is one of the most beautiful parks I have seen, in general. The open skyline provides a nice view of downtown St. Louis and the Arch. Bright, crisp, big video board visible in nearly all parts of the park. Lots of good standing room (important for the first year or so), open concourses. Good sightlines from 1B line bleeds, can't vouch for rest of stadium though. Also great open-air concourse on upper deck. Overall a very nice park.
Cons of the ballpark: A few. Behind home plate the boxes block the field from the concourses, which is annoying in a new stadium, but general concourse views are an upgrade from old Busch. Concourses, though wide, were very crowded-- not surprising, as the first game was a meaningless exhibition game and most people spent more time exploring than watching the game. Auxiliary boards yet to be completed, and a few other things that should be worked out in good time. Prices are ludicrous, probably my biggest gripe (9.50 for a corn dog and soda). And fewer regular people seats in exchange for more boxes and field level seats (it's all about the $$$), probably my biggest complaint from BEFORE they built the stadium. Navigation will take some getting used to, with only two ramps but many more staircases, elevators, and a few confusing escalators (at one spot I could only see them going up). But the pros outweigh the cons. However...
Additional Comments: The park is still brand new, and, like a new glove, needs time to break in before it can be great. Walking around the stadium for the first time felt very surreal; after so many games at Busch, and so many months monitoring the progress of New Busch, it felt strange seeing it in person for the first time, like I expected to see what I always saw in old Busch but instead got something completely different. Once I get used to it I imagine I will love it as I did old Busch, if lacking the tradition and "venerableness" of the old one. I'd imagine it will be generally well received, though there will be complainers about something. I think as it becomes less and less the "new" stadium and more and more just the stadium fans will regard it with the utmost pride, possibly as one of the best in baseball. But it will take time, and adjustment, and there will be growing pains. However, I am optimistic of the future of this ballpark.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: KCfan Grade: C
Pros of the ballpark: I am from Kansas City and went to go see the Royals play the Cardinals during Interleague Play. I believe there are fewer seats in the new stadium versus the old stadium, however, as a result, every seat in the stadium was taken. Cardinals fans were friendly and very loud. Overall a great place to watch a game. The field looked real nice from the outside and inside. Very modern looking.
Cons of the ballpark: Be prepared to cough up some money when you go to the game. My friend from St. Louis was the one who bought the tickets. They were $40 so I thought they were going to be pretty good seats. Unfortunately, we were in the 2nd to last row of the upper deck. I think the same ticket at other stadiums might be $10. I think the first time we bought tickets we had to join a "Prime Seat Club" so that added some money to the ticket. Future tickets might not be as much. Food was another con. I spent about $20 for a hamburger, fries, and Coke. The food wasn't spectacular either. So I spent $60 on ticket and food and wasn't pleased with either. Good thing the Royals won. I don't even remember what we paid for parking. Getting into and out of the stadium was a pain. There was not flow or direction to the crowd.
Additional Comments: If I didn't have friends from St. Louis, I probably wouldn't ever go back to see a game. It just wasn't worth it. I recommend you go to at least one game because it was a great atmosphere to watch a game.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: tmac2 Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: This place gets my vote for the best ballpark in the major leagues. It feels so real and amazingly beautiful. The sightlines are great, the views of downtown St. Louis are great, and Albert Pujols is probably the best Cardinal ever. I love the way the outside of the stadium is all brick and steel. It feels so authentic and it's the way baseball's meant to be played. Best MLB ballpark EVER!!!!
Cons of the ballpark: There are way too few covered seats. In the middle of the fall (when the Cards are certain to be playing in the World Series) it's sweltering. Even in April, when I went, it was too hot. No other complaints, though!
Additional Comments: The caesar salad is great, and the placing of the statue of What's His Name is a great new location.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: James Grade: B
Pros of the ballpark: The views are awesome from just about every seat in the place. People can finally see the lovely cityscape of Downtown St. Louis. The openness of the concourses and standing room only make it one of the best in the league. The signage all around the place is nice and it's great that the owners personalized and regionalized the ballpark with many details that are truly St. Louis Cardinals.
Cons of the ballpark: There are many things needing to be completed as well as little things that as comments come in, will be addressed. The foul pole obstruction issue is one that is already being fixed. My main problem is that the retired numbers have been taken from huge flags in their special area to small circles with the numbers inside located in part of the Coca-Cola Scoreboard Patio. I also hope that a tribute to our world championships is created similar to the Plaza of Champions at the old Busch.
Additional Comments: Like said before the ballpark is still being constructed so its hard to give the park a full critique. I am excited about this new ballpark being apart of many historic games, which it already has with Pujols' 14th home run in the Month of April.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: Mike Behum Grade: A
Pros of the ballpark: Outstanding views of downtown and the arch. Much improved standing room sections. Great looking stadium. Very comfortable. Upper decks had good views. Awesome scoreboards, give details on other games that are going on. Bleachers now have back rests.
Cons of the ballpark: Ballpark ushers are insane, holds about 3000 less. Does not fully appreciate past cardinals (aka retired numbers and past championships). Jumbo hotdog was not so jumbo and still over priced. O'doul's costs less then water and soda? Less large ramps and more stair cases with the smoking section being the bottom and top of the stair case, which almost lead to a fight when I was there.
Additional Comments: We still have not seen the full potential of the ball park since there about 7000 seats that are not available. I think once the ballpark village is completed, this stadium will not only be good for baseball fans, but for the downtown life of St. Louis (which to be honest isn�t much). I think this ball park will be greatly enjoyed for years to come and rejuvenate the downtown area.

Ballpark Visited: Busch Stadium Submitted By: Paul L. Grade: C
Pros of the ballpark: Lots of room in the concourses.  However, there is no "flow" to the crowd and you have to navigate masses of people.  It looked and felt like a revised, new and improved Busch Stadium.  The seats were a bit wider and more comfortable.  The open-air ballpark made for nice, comfortable breezes that were never felt in the old stadium.  No hassles from the gate staff when bringing in food and non-alcoholic beverages.  Plenty of places to stand, hang out and watch the game.  My kids loved the idea of a "Build a Fredbird" store.
Cons of the ballpark: First, the ushers wear red - just like EVERY OTHER person at the ballpark.  They really should be in some other color, or stripes, or something... I had a hard time finding one to get help finding my section.  The sections were poorly marked and there are zero "you are here" maps to help out.  The concourses are nice and wide, but crowded with people just milling about.  The $34 seat is about the same height/distance (section 267) that a $24 seat was at the old ballpark last year.  The sightlines are not really an improvement in any section in the 200's and higher.  You get a definite feel that there is a class distinction between upper (loge and above) and lower bowl seats.  Down below, the seats have cushions and the view is much better.  Also, there are MUCH better concessions (though not cheaper) in the 100 sections.  The ushers (when I could find one) weren't all that helpful.  It took 3 to tell me "you have to go up there."  The wind was blowing
 a lot during the game I was at, and there was a lot of trash/debris blowing from the concourses into the stands (packing materials, peanut shells, trash).  The old, white haired lady in front of me had about 10-15 peanut shell fragments embedded in her hair.  The scoreboards are too busy, too uninspired.  During pitching changes, all the current information on the "ribbon" scoreboard disappears in favor of cell phone commercials so you can't tell how many outs there are.  The main scoreboard just isn't pleasing to look at, the main clock is difficult to read, and honestly the old scoreboards were easier to read and had more information.  I could see in many places where building mistakes had to be corrected and there were potholes in the concrete - which made the stadium feel sort of cheap.  The food is too costly ($20 for two dogs and two sodas) and the quality was sad.  My hot dog's bun literally was cold and soggy.  The seats in the loge and upper decks are not aligned to
  the field in a baseball friendly way and so the 200 level seat actually faced center field.  This made it very difficult to have a conversation with someone on my left when I wanted to follow what was going on anywhere in the infield (i.e. most of the game).  The  text messaging onto the scoreboard is, I thought, trendy and tacky.  The escalators down at the end of the game were crowded and a bit scary with young kids because the crowd at the bottom is moving more slowly than the people getting off the escalator - it had a kind of  eerie Who concert crush feel to it.  The upper decks are actually higher than the old stadium and have less actual access to each section.  The incline to view the field means anyone standing in front of you, even at the bottom row, complete obscures your view of the field.
Additional Comments: All said, it's not much of an upgrade from the previous Busch Stadium.  I'm not a "we didn't need a new ballpark" person, but I was hoping for more.  For years, the Cardinals kept saying that they were building the "best" ballpark.  What they built, though, is more of an updated version of what Cardinals fans were familiar with, except with a lot more luxury suites and party boxes.  It's almost as if they said to HOK: Build us Camden Yards, but give us the "WalMart" version.  Honestly, it seemed most of the stadium staff were there to say "you can't go in there."  I think the average ticket is about $10 too much for a baseball loving family to attend more than one or two games in a season.   Honestly, I think after the "see the new park" crowd thins out in a year or so, and if the Cardinals don't have a team atop the NL Central, the Busch Stadium attendance is going to drop significantly.  I truly hope the owners continue to make improvements and don't l  et the stadium stand "as is," because "as is," sadly, isn't even as nice as the two Frontier League ballparks  in the St. Louis area.


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