The Cardinals Baseball Stadium Tour

When I arrived in St Louis, I was still buzzing from my newly acquired knowledge of baseball which I’d been exposed to a lot in Indianapolis.  I excitedly told my hosts that I’d been to see the Indianapolis Indians play a game at their home ground, the Victory Stadium, and had absolutely loved it. My hosts then told me that I couldn’t get away with seeing a minor league baseball match, I had to see the Major League World Champions play.  “Great!” I answered, “Where on earth am I going to see that?”.  “Right here in St Louis!”, they answered.

The St Louis Cardinals are the current World Champions so it became my mission to not only see them play but to tour their HUGE stadium, called the Busch Stadium, in St Louis.

The stadium is huge and can be seen for miles around.  You get an especially good view from the top of the St Louis Arch.

The Busch Stadium as seen from the top of the St Louis Arch.

I thought the Indianapolis Indian’s Victory Field Stadium was huge and even though I will always have fond memories of that game as my first ever minor-league baseball game, the Busch Stadium completely blew me away.

Gate 3 at the Busch Stadium. A statue of Stan Musial, the greatest Cardinal of all time, stands proud at the entrance,

The tour of the stadium, which can be purchased online or directly from the gate, starts at Gate 3, which is one of the main gates of the stadium. I met a group of about 20 people and a tiny old lady who would be our guide.  Forgive me for thinking it would be a young man dressed in baseball gear.  I tried to hide my disappointment but it turned out she was quite an expert and I warmed to her throughout the tour.

The current stadium is only 6 years old and is the Cardinal’s third stadium.  The first one was built of wood, the second was a multi-sport stadium but the third stadium is a dedicated baseball stadium and is the Cardinal’s official home ground.

The Busch Stadium with the St Louis arch in the background.

The first room we visited on our tour of the stadium, was the Champions Club room, one of many rooms available for private hire.

The UMB Champions Club room.

This room will set you back $1750 for 4 hours private hire but if it’s just the game you want to watch, 26 plasma televisions will ensure you don’t miss a thing.  In this room, you can view past trophies, wall-high posters of players and enjoy the game at the same time.

One of the many World Series Trophies on display in the Champions room.

Your ticket price will include unlimited food and drink and a designated seat outside.  Individual tickets are available but book early because they sell out quickly.

We are led outside again and shown the Musial Bridge, which is an open air patio overlooking the Stan Musial plaza outside Gate 3 on the one side and the field on the other.

Stan Musial is viewed as the greatest Cardinal of all time and one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.  He has a batting average of 331 and in 22 consecutive years of baseball scored over 3630 hits.  He is now 91 years old and is still considered no. 4 in the the world.  He attends games by special request.

The next room we were shown was called the Redbird Club room and is for season ticket holders only. This room costs $2250 for 4 hours private hire.  You pay for the food and drink but there is greater variety of food and a tempting dessert bar.  It has a 3000 person capacity and is the largest room of its kind in major league baseball. Old fashioned baseball cards have been digitised and form the wallpaper on the largest wall in the room.

Old baseball cards have been digitised to become the wallpaper in the Redbird Club room.

It features all Cardinal players from +-1900 – 1960. There is a lot of history surrounding when the Cardinals got their name.  In baseball the names of the teams are not always indicative of where they are based.  If New York bought the Cardinals, they would move to New York and be called the New York Cardinals and would NOT take on the name of the current New York team. The Cardinals were founded in the American Association in 1882 as the St. Louis Brown Stockings, but changed their names to the “Perfectos” in 1899 and took Cardinals as their official name in 1900.

Next on the tour was the Broadcasting Room.  Here Mike Shannon and John Rooney have kept the crowd alive for many years with an action by action broadcast of each game. You have a fantastic view of the pitch from here.

The Broadcasting Room in the Busch Stadium, home to Mike Shannon and many other well-known baseball broadcasters.

Here we were told about the grass that is used on the pitch.  It’s called Kentucky Blue Grass and is planted on top of rocks and sands so that it drains quickly.  It is cut and watered every single day.  The pattern of the St Louis arch on the pitch is made by huge rollers placed on the back of the cutting machines.  It proved popular after one match and has been done ever since.

The guide explained to us that directly opposite the batter on the other side of the field, is something called “The Batter’s Eye”.  It is a digitised notice board that goes black every time the pitcher throws the ball.  It makes it clear for the batter to see the ball coming and when the ball is travelling at over 90mph, this can only be a good thing.

Gussy Busch Jnr bought the club in 1953 and all in all, he oversaw a team that won 6 National League championships and 3 World Series.  He actually renamed the stadium from “The Sportsman Stadium” to “The Busch Stadium”.  I think it has a much nicer ring to it…

Last of the rooms to view on the tour was the Cardinals Club room, the most elegant room in the stadium.  You have to purchase 2 seats for a minimum of 10 years and the cost is, wait for it, $14,000 per seat per person PER YEAR.  Yes, these are the best of the best. A mini grand piano stands at the entrance and after walking through a marbled hallway, you will enter a beautiful room decorated in warm, polished wood. A truly luxurious experience. There are 2 buffets and if you really don’t want to miss a thing, servers will bring your food out to the club’s designated green seats overlooking the pitch.

The beautifully elegant Cardinal Club room.

The green seats are placed almost directly behind the Cardinals dugout and much to my excitement, it was the next place we visited on our tour. Many a famous baseball player has sat in these seats and it was with much excitement that everyone on the tour posed for various photos in the dugout.

The Cardinal’s dugout.

All in all, a fantastic, informative tour and it was so exciting to see and learn a bit more about this incredible stadium.  While we only visited a few of the rooms and areas on offer for private hire, the tour is certainly well worth the money and also a fantastic outing for kids.

Making sure I don’t stand on the prized pitch grass, I pose at home base at the Cardinal’s Busch Stadium.

Busch Stadium Rooms Private Hire
http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ballpark/bsse/index.jsp

Cardinals Home Page
http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=stl

Tours are offered daily but check the website for details:

In season: (April – September)
Public tours will be offered at 9:30am, 11:00 am, 12:30pm, and 2:00pm.

  • (On dates with games starting at 6:15pm, no 2:00pm tour will be offered.)
  • (No tours will be offered on dates with home day games)
  • (No tours offered on dates of special events at the ballpark)

Off-season: (October – March)
Public tours will be offered daily at 11:00am and 12:30pm
Tours will NOT be offered on the following holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day
  • Due to possible post-season activity, there may be changes to the tour schedule in October

The rates for general public “walk-up tours” are:

  • Adults – $10
  • Seniors (60+)/Active Military w/ID – $8
  • Children (15 and under) – $6
  • Children 3 and under are free (no ticket required). Limit 3 per family or group.

 

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One Response to The Cardinals Baseball Stadium Tour

  1. Venessa says:

    I’m yet to go on the tour at Busch Stadium!
    I loved this article – extremely informative!!!

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