Template:Infobox Baseball Stadium Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri was the home of the St. Louis baseball Cardinals from May 12, 1966 to October 19, 2005. It opened four days after the last game was played in their old home, Sportsman's Park (which had also been known since 1953 as Busch Stadium). The Cardinals closed out their final season there by losing the 2005 National League Championship Series to the Houston Astros.
It was one of the first multipurpose facilities built in the United States in the 1960s and early 1970s, along with those in Atlanta, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. Having hosted its last game, it leaves Washington's RFK Stadium and Toronto's Rogers Centre as baseball's last "cookie cutter" multipurpose facilities.
Demolition of the stadium began at 3:07 Central Standard Time on November 7, 2005, as the current location for Busch Stadium will become part of the outfield and ballpark village area for the new Busch Stadium. Unlike recent stadium demolitions, which have been triggered implosions, the ballpark is being torn down with a wrecking ball piece-by-piece over a period of a few months, with parts of the north portion of the stadium remaining until the 2006 All-Star Break.
Busch Stadium was also the home of the St. Louis football Cardinals beginning with that team's 1966 season. They remained there through the 1987 season, and then relocated to Tempe, Arizona after owner Bill Bidwell failed to convince the city to pay for a new football-only stadium.
Busch Stadium was also briefly the home of St. Louis Rams, who relocated from Los Angeles to move into the new and nearby Trans World Dome (currently Edward Jones Dome after TWA filed for bankruptcy). Since construction on their new home was delayed, the Rams played their first two 1995 games at Busch Stadium.
More about the stadium
When it opened it was known as Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium. 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.
The stadium was designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone. Its arched design echoes the nearby Gateway Arch, which was completed the year before Busch Stadium opened. The grounds are home to bronze statues of Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and most recently, Jack Buck. The stadium's playing surface, originally natural grass, was re-covered in Astroturf in 1970; grass returned in 1996.
Busch Stadium 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 McGwire's 70th of that season, for a record which lasted until Barry Bonds surpassed it in 2001.
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 attempted to make the outfield better balanced between pitching and power hitting.
By the early 1990s, the stadium appeared to be falling into disrepair. However, remodeling in 1995 improved the park's sense of intimacy and converted the multi-purpose facility into a baseball-only park.
- The Boston Red Sox ended their 86 year World Series drought here on October 27, 2004, sweeping the Cardinals in 4.
- From day one, the stadium's electric scoreboard, which cost $1.5 million in 1960s dollars, featured a cardinal which fluttered and chirped when the Cardinals hit a home run.
- In the inaugural game, the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in 12 innings. The game's first pitch was thrown by Ray Washburn.
- The stadium hosted the 1966 MLB All-Star Game during a record heat wave that swept the Northeast and Midwest, and several spectators suffered heatstroke. Casey Stengel, when asked what he thought of the new stadium, remarked, "It holds the heat well!"
- The Musial statue was unveiled on a Sunday in August 1968, after the Chicago Cubs had swept a three-game series; some fans feared the statue might turn out to be of Ernie Banks.
- The 1968 film Paper Lion was partially filmed at Busch.
- The naming rights for Busch Stadium were purchased by Anheuser-Busch in 1996, and the stadium's logo was then modeled after the logo for Busch beer.
- At the regular season "final game" ceremonies on October 3, 2005, the club celebrated its almost 40-year history at the "old Bottle Cap" (Busch Stadium) with a two-hour post game ceremony. The Cardinals honored 11 employees who had spent over 50 years working there; it also brought back stars from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Also honored were the 2005 team and the "men who built the park," Jack Buck and August A. Busch III, the founder's great-grandson and current chairman of Anheuser-Busch. For the first time in over a decade the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales trotted around the warning track, while the 50,000+ fans in attendance sang "Here comes the King!" (a Budweiser jingle dating back to the 1970s).
- Busch Stadium history, from the Major League Baseball website
- Busch Stadium, from the Sporting News
- Major League Baseball In St. Louis, from the St. Louis Senior Circuit website
- Last call for Busch and A toast to Busch, articles from the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
- Busch Stadium on Google maps
- Stadium webcam hosted by KMOV-TV