I was against it from the moment I heard that a committee of genius city planners in my hometown St. Louis were tearing down the fabled Busch Stadium, archetype of 60s stadium modern architecture with a rim made of arches resembling the city's iconic sculpture.
Though it represented an opportunity to build a completely unique piece of urban architecture for the city -- built behind a 60-story modern sculpture by Eero Saarinen -- the committee totally blew it. They replaced it with a faux old-fashioned park, one reminiscent of ballparks of an era long gone -- like the new "old" parks in Baltimore and San Francisco. And I care! Because to be born in St. Louis is to be born a Cardinal fan, with Cardinal-red blood.
Luckily for me, my family had season tickets to the games. I was there when Lou Brock was stealing bases and they were giving out Brock-a-brellas. I was there when they won the series in '82 and the entire city danced to Kool and the Gang's "Celebration" for a year. I was there for many more pennant races and playoffs and World Series and Ozzie Smith flips. I was there when Mark McGuire brought the home run derby to St. Louis and (sadly, fleetingly) brought dignity back to the game. I was there last September with my family in those same seats on the 3rd base line to say goodbye to that great park.
So they tore down the park with all that history and built a new one to resemble one with a lot of history. They lost about 5000 seats in the process but apparently made a shitload of money on box seats and package deals. And I was there on Friday night to check out the new "olde fashionede ball parke."
We had "green seats" which are unbelievable, located right behind home plate. They go for a whopping $170 a ticket, that's 70 bucks more than prime seats for a Broadway show. For that you get special parking and waiter service to your seats with all the free food and beer you want. Besides the amazing views, the "Cardinal Club" is a big perk associated with green seats. The Club is a hideously nondescript restaurant with buffet that's all free too. I would say it looks and feels like a Westin hotel but that might actually be insulting to the people at Westin. Let's settle on calling it a Sheraton. There are many varieties of "fine" and "fancy" fish, which I for one am certainly in the mood for at a ballgame. Stadium fish, I never thought I would live to see. During the game, you don't have to pee with everybody else, you go in bathrooms that are located inside the Club. Once inside the park, I was loving the open outfield, providing clear views of the great Gateway Arch. The scoreboard is cool, too. That's about it.