Busch Stadium is located at 700 Clark Street in St. Louis, Missouri. The stadium is also known as "Busch Stadium III'' or the "New Busch Stadium'', and is the home of the Major League Baseball team the St. Louis Cardinals. The plans for the stadium were designed by HOK Sport and ground breaking took place on January 17th, 2004.
The stadium officially opened with an exhibition game on April 4th, 2006, and opening day took place on April 10th, 2006. The new stadium is the third park in St. Louis to carry the name Busch Stadium. Originally the park was dubbed Sportsmans Park, until 1953 when the stadium was purchased and renamed for new owner August A. Busch. The first Busch Stadium was closed in 1966, at which time the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams were relocated to their new home at Busch Memorial Stadium.
Funding for construction of the stadium in downtown St. Louis came through private donations, bank loans and a long-term loan from St. Louis County and money from the teams various owners. The cost of building the stadium was $346 million, and the construction of Ballpark Village cost an additional $646 million. During the first season of opening, every seat in the stadium was sold out and the team's first season attendance was 3,407,104, the second largest in baseball history.
While the old stadium was enclosed, the current stadium is open-air and allows unobstructed views from all angles. The stadium boasts panoramic views of the St. Louis skyline and the Gateway Arch, and the stadium is a baseball only facility. Total capacity of the stadium is 43,975 seats and has a total of 46,861 when combined with standing room capacity.
The current stadium is built with the Gateway Arch and several other historical St. Louis landmarks reflected in its architecture. The Gate 3 entrance of the stadium has a large bridge which resembles the Eads Bridge and a bronze statue of Stan "The Man'' Musial. Other statues that had once been located at the old stadium are now displayed throughout the new facility, with most being located by the gift shop. Outside the stadium, are fan-bricks surrounded by marble plaques that commemorate the 100 greatest moments in Cardinal Baseball.
The current stadium has the same dimensions as the previous stadium had, which plays fairly to both hitters and pitchers, right and left handed batters. The field dimensions are as follows; left field 336 feet, left center field 375 feet, center field 400 feet, right center field 375 feet and right field 335 feet. The stadium is owned by the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals and the playing surface is composed of natural grass.
Guests of the stadium are invited to tour the facilities and enjoy taking in an early batting practice session on game days. The stadium has several snack kiosks, gift shops, first aid stations, dining locations, restrooms, ATMS and handicapped accessible. Each year, Busch Stadium invites guests to enjoy a park filled with modern facilities, outstanding guest services and lively surroundings, making it a perfect family friendly venue.