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Busch Stadium

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Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium
Facility Statistics
Location250 Stadium Plaza
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
OpenedMay 12, 1966
OwnerThe St. Louis Cardinals
SurfaceGrass
ArchitectsSverdrup & Parcel and Associates
Edward Durell Stone
Schwarz & Van Hoefen, Associated
Former Names
Busch Memorial Stadium1966-1982
Tenants
St. Louis Cardinals (MLB)1966-present
St. Louis Cardinals (NFL)1966-1987
St. Louis Rams (NFL)1995
Seating Capacity
2003 baseball49,676
Dimensions
1966 Original
Left Field330 ft
Left-Center386 ft
Center Field414 ft
Right-Center386 ft
Right Field330 ft
1996 to Date
Left Field330 ft
Left-Center372 ft
Center Field402 ft
Right-Center372 ft
Right Field330 ft
Backstop64 ft

Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri has been the home of the St. Louis baseball Cardinals since May 12, 1966, four days after the last game was played in their old home, also known as Busch Stadium or Sportsman's Park. It was known as Busch Memorial Stadium until 1982. The stadium's name comes from the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch, who owned the baseball team until March 1996 and championed the stadium's construction.

It was the home of the St. Louis football Cardinals from 1966 through 1987, until the team moved to Arizona after owner Bill Bidwill failed to convince the city to build a new stadium. The St. Louis Rams played there briefly during part of the 1995 NFL season, until their new stadium, now the Edward Jones Dome, was ready.

The stadium was designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone. Its arched design echoes the nearby Gateway Arch. The grounds are home to bronze statues of the baseball team's Hall-of-Famers such as Bob Gibson and Stan Musial. The Musial statue was unveiled on a Sunday in August, 1968, after the Chicago Cubs had swept a 3-game series, and some fans feared the statue might turn out to be Ernie Banks.

The stadium's playing surface, originally natural grass, was Astroturf starting in 1970. With the plastic surface and the field below street level, hot July days effectively turned the diamond into the world's largest Teflon frying pan. Thankfully, grass returned in 1996 after the Rams moved to their new indoor stadium.

Busch Stadium has hosted World Series games in six different seasons: 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 2004. The stadium was also the site of Mark McGwire's historic 62nd home run of the 1998 season that broke Roger Maris' single-season record, and also of Big Mac's 70th of that season for a record which lasted through 2001. It remains to be seen whether the recent steroids scandal will taint those records.

The dimensions in center and the power alleys have been altered from time to time over the years. Initially the park was very conducive to the Bob Gibson and Lou Brock style of play, lots of room for pitchers to make mistakes, and for extra-base hits and not so many home runs. Later changes tried to make the outfield better balanced between pitching and power hitting. In the interest of space, only the original and the most recent dimensions are shown in the accompanying grid.

Of all the 1960s "cookie cutter" stadiums, Busch is probably the most visually appealing and best-designed. Post-1995 remodeling further improved the intimacy level about as much as possible for a multi-purpose facility. Regardless, the stadium, now one of the older Major League Baseball venues, is scheduled to be demolished in late 2005, to be replaced by a new 46,000-seat ball park scheduled to open in April 2006. The new park will also be named Busch Stadium.

The original design of the 1966 stadium was a true baseball park. It was then altered to accommodate the NFL. 40 years later, the original dream will become reality.

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Busch Stadium
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Busch Stadium
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Busch_Stadium,_Exterior.jpg
Exterior shot of Busch Stadium














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