Also known as “New Busch Stadium” or “Busch Stadium III,” Busch Stadium is a baseball park located in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s home to the St. Louis Cardinals, the city’s Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise with a tremendous following in the area. The stadium can hold 45,529 individuals and contains 3,706 club seats, plus 61 luxury suites.
The new Busch Stadium replaced Busch Memorial Stadium, also known as Busch Stadium II, and occupies a portion of that stadium’s former footprint where it stands today. Located within Ballpark Village, known to be a commercial area, the stadium was built adjacent to the previous stadium that lent it its name.
To date, the highest attendance a the stadium was recorded on May 23, 2013, when 48,263 people came to watch the Chelsea Football Club and Manchester City Football Club play a friendly match. Aside from soccer, the largest attendance for a baseball game at the stadium took place on July 29, 2017, with an attendance of 48,052. It was for a game that took place between the Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
History of Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
In June 2001, the state of Missouri signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals team, proposing a ballpark in downtown St. Louis. However, the bill was struck down in 2002, leaving the saga wide open. Through a combo of bank loan bonds and private investments, the stadium cost the city $365 million in construction. But, designed by Populous and built by Hunt Construction, the stadium could open on schedule.
Busch Stadium officially opened its doors to the public in 2006 with an exhibition between the minor league Memphis Redbirds and Springfield Cardinals, both affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals today. Springfield won the game 5 to 3, with right-hander Mike Parisi recording the first win. Following that, the stadium was the host of the first major league game, on April 10, 2006, as the Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 6 to 4, with an Albert Pujols home run and winning pitcher Mark Mulder.
Confusing residents and visitors, the stadium is the third stadium in the greater St. Louis region to carry Busch Stadium. Sportsman’s Park renamed Busch Stadium in 1953, was the first installment in the series of Busch names after Gussie Busch purchased it. This stadium closed in 1966, and both the baseball and football Cardinals teams moved into the new multi-purpose stadium, known as Busch Memorial Stadium.
Not to confuse the first two, the current stadium is named after Anheuser-Busch, not Gussie Busch. A naming rights deal was signed in 2004 before the opening of the new stadium, extending until 2026.
Stadium Design of Busch Stadium
Unlike the previous stadium, which embodied a cookie-cutter style reminiscent of stadium design at the time, the new Busch stadium is a retro-classic structure, offering a panoramic view of the downtown skyline for visitors. Most iconic, the entrance to the west side of the stadium, through Gate 3, includes a bridge that is supposed to replicate the Gateway Arch in the city of St. Louis. Additionally, outside Gate 3, there is a bronze statue of Cardinals legend Stan “The Man” Musial.