Which of the 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Busch Stadium St. Louis Will Impress You the Most? Those 10 Facts on Busch Stadium are…
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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium is one of the league’s most popular Midwest ballparks every sports fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Cardinals venue opened in 2006 and hosted the All-Star Game in 2009. Any St. Louis fan that bleeds Redbird red will know every information possible, from the team winning the 2011 World Series to Mike Shildt claiming the 2019 Manager of the Year. However, there are new Busch Stadium facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Busch Stadium below!
10: Before Moving to Busch Stadium, the Cardinals Considered Moving to Illinois
Busch Stadium is one of America’s best 365 days-a-year attractions for not only in Missouri, but also in the Midwest. Right across the street is the Ballpark Village, where cardinals fans and baseball supporters in general can shop and dine. In fact, Busch Stadium gives out ballpark tours that take guests to areas not usually open on game-day. But did you know that the Cardinals considered moving to Illinois before building Busch Stadium III? Well, that was the case for the St. Louis club in the early 2000s.
After spending nearly 40 years at Busch Memorial Stadium, the Cardinals were looking for a new home. Perhaps the most interesting moment from the ballpark search was that the Cardinals proposed an idea for a new venue in Madison, Illinois. To clarify, the city is actually across the Mississippi River from Downtown St. Louis. The Madison ballpark would have been located right next to the Gateway International Raceway. Fortunately, city officials from St. Louis managed to beat Madison by offering the Cardinals a new downtown venue.
9: Cardinals Ballpark’s 1st Ever Game was a Minor League Battle: Memphis vs. Springfield
Normally, when a new stadium opens, the very first game would feature the main tenant. Not long after the grand opening ceremony, the team that is getting a new home will face either a division rival or one of the top clubs from the conference. Most importantly, the ceremonial first pitch for the new ballpark is thrown by a player or coach who has played at the previous venue. But believe it or not, Busch Stadium’s first ever game was actually a Minor League matchup between the Memphis RedBirds and the Springfield Cardinals.
In April 2006, the two Minor League affiliates for St. Louis squared off in an exhibition contest. For those who don’t follow the farm teams, Memphis is Triple-A and Springfield is Double-A. Since those clubs play at different levels in the Minors, that means the 2006 game is pretty much the only time they ever faced each other. Anyway, Springfield went on to defeat Memphis in an upset 5-3 on the first “unofficial” Opening Day in Busch Stadium’s history. Not only is the exhibition contest a moment for the ages for fans entering the stadium for the first time, but it is also the first taste for players who are trying to get to the big leagues.
8: Busch Stadium has a Build-A-Bear Workshop® in the Concourse
The Cardinals ballpark usually has multiple team stores where fans can buy souvenirs as well as game memorabilia. Also, baseball spectators can use their cash or card to buy food from concession stands and visit the Ballpark Village beyond centerfield. But here’s something not many fans know about! Busch Stadium has a Build-A-Bear Workshop® store in the Ford Plaza via the outfield concourse. Opened in 2006, the one-of-a-kind shop allows children to get stuffed animals like the Fredbird mascot and a Teddy Bear. Previously, the store was located in the first or third base concourse before moving to Ford Plaza in 2016.
Normally, the Build-a-Bear Workshop® stores occupy their spaces inside shopping malls across the country. The Cardinals are one of the couple MLB teams to have such a store in their ballpark, joining the Nationals and Phillies. Previously, there was a Build-A-Bear Workshop® at the now-Oracle Park in San Francisco. But in 2013, the Teddy Bear stand was turned into a social media-themed coffee store called “@Cafe.”
7: Cardinals Ballpark Used to Have a Scoreboard that Showed 14 Other MLB Games at Once
Busch Stadium has lots of things for fans to see during a baseball game. At right field, they can look at the World Champions banners located on top of the video board. Also, spectators can get a glimpse of the Ballpark Village located across the street. Most importantly, anyone who has a ticket to a Cardinals contest can see the Gateway Arch. But did you know that Busch Stadium used to have a scoreboard that showed 14 other MLB games at once? To make things more interesting, that feature only lasted one season.
When the ballpark made its debut in 2006, the right field video board showed pretty much all the other team’s scores. In fact, the feature revealed what innings those contests were on. However, rumor has it that the fans were not thrilled with the out-of-town scoreboard. They felt that Busch Stadium should focus more on Cardinals-branded videos and not so much on other clubs’ scores. One year later, the right field scoreboard and other signage were removed in favor of a video board that shows Cardinals-oriented content. Also, the World Champions banners were installed on top of the right field feature.
6: A Stray Bullet Hit a Fan in the Arm During a Cardinals Game
Accidents and injuries can happen to anyone at any time, especially at ballparks. Those accidents range from stubbing a toe on a hard door to slipping on a wet floor. However, injuries resulting from those accidents can sometimes be serious or even frightening. Unfortunately, that happened at Busch Stadium one time during a Cardinals game. In May 2017, a spectator was hit by a stray bullet on the first level.
During the Cardinals/Brewers contest, a woman in her mid-30s had seats near the 1st base dugout. Suddenly, she noticed that blood was coming out of her elbow. Then, the woman found a piece of a stray bullet under her seat. Security and law enforcement officials rushed to the scene and took her to a nearby hospital. Fortunately, she was able to fully recover and the Cardinals declared that safety was their top priority. The more good news is that a stray bullet incident has not happened at Busch Stadium since.
5: Busch Stadium has a Retractable Roof! Well, Sort Of!
Retractable roofs can provide a relaxing experience for baseball fans and sports enthusiasts alike. For instance, they can protect fans from downpour rains to lightning strikes. In addition, those features can help with climate control to avoid the hot heat during the summer months. So far, only eight teams play in a stadium with a dome/retractable roof: Rays, Astros, Rangers, Marlins, Brewers, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Diamondbacks. As a matter of fact, the Cardinals also have a retractable roof, but it’s not what you think.
In time for the 2014 campaign, the Cardinals installed a movable roof for fans to take shelter on. The feature is located on top of the Fox Sports Midwest Live (Now Bally Sports Midwest Live) gathering area across the street from Busch Stadium. The roof, which was developed by OpenAire Incorporation, has an opening-closing movement similar to American Family Field in Milwaukee. So if a Cardinals game was in a weather delay, fans can head over to the Bally Sports Midwest Live area thanks to the retractable roof. Speaking of that area, it is part of Ballpark Village that is filled with other attractions like the Hall of Fame Museum and the rooftop seats.
4: There was a College Football Game at the Cardinals Ballpark
College football games can be a great asset for baseball venues when it comes to making additional profit. In fact, there are multiple MLB stadiums across the country that have prior experience in hosting December bowl contests. In the early 2000s, the then-Safeco Field used to host the Seattle Bowl before discontinuing in 2003.
During the 2010s, Oracle Park in San Francisco and LoanDepot Park in Miami used to host the Fight Hunger Bowl and the Miami Beach Bowl (respectively). As of today, the Red Sox stadium is hosting the Fenway Bowl and Yankee Stadium is serving the Pinstripe Bowl. But for the Cardinals, Busch Stadium got to host a college football game for the only time in its 15-plus years of history.
In September 2013, the Southern Illinois Salukis took on the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. The football field was situated between the infield and the outfield, with both sidelines sharing a centerfield. The two schools are considered one of the state’s top rivalries since both campuses are about an hour-drive from each other. Anyway, Southern Illinois managed to defeat Southeast Missouri State by the final score of 36-19. As of today, Busch Stadium has not hosted a football game since that 2013 contest.
3: Cardinals Ballpark is the Only Active MLB Stadium to Host Four Straight NLCS Series
The St. Louis Cardinals have been one of the league’s most successful teams since the mid-2000s. Along the way, they had the following superstar players: Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, David Freese, Adam Wainwright, Nolan Arenado, and manager Tony La Russa. Most of all, the Cardinals have had more extended postseason runs than any other team since 2006. In fact, Busch Stadium is the only big league park to host the National League Championship Series (NLCS) four straight years and six overall since it opened. The other stadiums that have hosted the championship series overall more often in that span are Dodger Stadium (6), Yankee Stadium (5), Fenway Park (5), and Minute Maid Park (4).
In the inaugural season, the Cardinals won their first World Series title since 1982. Five years later, the St. Louis ballclub stunned the baseball universe when they won another championship despite being down ten games in the Wild Card race that September. Following their 2011 title run, the Cardinals went on to play in the NLCS in each of the next three years. Out of those three, they managed to get to the Fall Classic once in 2013 (lost to the Red Sox in six games). The Cardinals would not return to the championship series until 2019, where they were swept by the eventual World Champion Washington Nationals.
2: Busch Stadium is Also a Place for Hockey Fans, Too!
The Cardinals venue would be the site for other events that do not involve the Cardinals. Most notably, Busch Stadium is also a place for hockey fans as well. For instance, the ballpark was the home for the 2017 NHL Winter Classic between the Blues and the Blackhawks. The hockey contest showcased some of St. Louis’ best hockey players like Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. The best part of the rare occasion was that the Blues went on to defeat the Blackhawks 4-1.
But hold on, because the Winter Classic was not the last time hockey made a presence at the baseball diamond. A couple years later, the Blues reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1970. When the Game 7 Watch Party at the Enterprise Center was booked instantly, Busch Stadium lent a hand for those wanting to cheer for their hometown hockey club. Since the Cardinals were on a road trip at the time, the ballpark became the alternative host for the Game 7 Watch Party. The fans got to watch the contest on the centerfield video board and celebrated the city’s first Stanley Cup when the Blues defeated the Bruins.
1: There’s Homemade Donuts Being Sold at St. Louis Cardinals Games
Whenever spectators go to a sporting event, they look to find something to munch on at the stadiums. No matter if it’s for baseball or any other sport, fans would rely on concession stands in the concourse. Those stands traditionally serve hand-accessible foods like hot dogs, chicken tenders, and pizzas. But there are some teams that go above and beyond in regards to providing the best culinary experience possible. For the St. Louis Cardinals, they have the most popular treat for fans and critics alike: homemade mini donuts.
For those who haven’t been to Busch Stadium, a Diner’s Donut is a dessert take on a baseball classic. The treat comes with a tray or helmet filled with over 10 mini donuts that are deep-fried in hot oil and then sprinkled with chocolate, vanilla, or cinnamon. When Dinger’s Donuts debuted in 2016, the dish immediately became a fan favorite. Anyone who wants to devour such an amazing thing should have some type of a heads-up warning. The Dinger’s Donuts are not served individually as they are meant for sharing, either with the family or with a group of friends.