Ballpark Survival Guy’d: Busch Stadium

Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals - Game OneWe kick off our 2014 Ballpark Guide with Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Busch Stadium isn't only home to great baseball, but arguably the greatest baseball fans in the country — as the city has been voted multiple times. 

Whether it's the ideal downtown location, friendly fans or terrific baseball year in and year out, Busch Stadium is one of the most visited ballparks in the country. Below is everything you need to know to have the best visit imaginable if you're ever headed to the 'Gateway to the West.' 

Fun Facts

Busch Stadium
250 Stadium Plz
Saint Louis, MO 63102
(314) 345-9000
www.mlb.mlb.com/stl

  • The Cardinals became the first team in almost 100 years to win a World Series in the inaugural season of a new ballpark when the Busch Stadium opened in 2006
  • Capacity: 46,000

St. Louis Cardinals

  • The Cardinals were founded in 1882 as an American Association Team called the St. Louis Brown Stockings.
  • The Cardinals have won more than 9,300 games, 11 World Series Championships, 18 National League Pennants, 3 National League Eastern Division Titles, and 8 National League Central Division Titles.

Numbers To Know

Fan Hotline – (314) 345-9624

… To contact the Guest Relations Center for assistance during the game.

Fan Texting System

Text "STLCARDS" + issue and location to 69050 for security and guest services during the game if any troubles arise.

Transportation Tips

Metrolink

​One secret to avoid parking fees is to park at the casino across the river and take the Metrolink over for just a few bucks. No matter where you're riding from, the Metrolink runs until midnight or until the downtown platform is cleared after games.

For Metrolink and Bus schedules call (314) 231-2345.

www.metrostlouis.org

Parking

If you are entering the ballpark through Gate 2, 3, or 4, the best place to park is on or near 8th Street. If entering through Gates 1, 5 or 6, the best place is on or near Broadway.

There are also taxi cab stands, one on the far east side on Broadway just south of Spruce and the other is on the west sie next to the Westin Hotel on Spruce between 8th and 9th Street. 

Ballpark Perks & Info

Busch Stadium Tours

http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ballpark/tours/index.jsp

Designated Driver Program

Sign up at a kiosk next to Guest Relations on Level 1 to be a 'designated driver' and receive a free key chain (first 40 guests) and a free soda or O'Doul's. 

Food

You can actually bring in your own food & drinks into Busch as long as it follows the following guidelines: No alcohol, bottles, cans, thermoses, hard-sided coolers, hard plastic cups/mugs. Non-alcoholic beverages including water and soda in open cups or in clear plastic bottles no larger than 2 liters are allowed. Food & beverages from the outside will not be permitted in the Cardinals Club, Luxury Suites, Party Suites or any of our other All Inclusive Areas.

Marriage Proposals

Proposals are only available on non-game days. Guests may contact Special Events for more details [email protected] or (314) 345-9630.

Military Tickets

Any active, reserve or retired military personnel who show a Valid ID at Windows 17-18 no earlier than 1 1/2 hours before the game get a free ticket. Blackout dates apply.

Snapshots

Where to take your picture

"Meet me at Musial."

Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

Stan 'the man' Musial is the most beloved Cardinal in history and one of the most prolific hitters the game has ever seen. His statue was a famous meeting spot at the old Busch Stadium and the tradition still continues at the new ballpark. The statue is located at the third base entrance to the stadium. 

At the corner of Clark and 8th you'll find a complete field of statues featuring other Cardinals legends, which include: Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Rogers Hornsby. 

Here is myself with my personal favorite, The "Wizard," Ozzie Smith. I promise I haven't posed like this since…

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Busch Stadium Attractions

Ballpark Village

This has to be your must-see stop. You literally can't visit the new Busch Stadium and not take the time to checkout what's in store right across the street. The Ballpark Village has been eagerly awaited by Cardinals fans since the new Bush Stadium was built in 2006. Inside you'll find…

Cardinals Nation (#CardsNation)

30,000 square feet of awesome, Cardinals Nation is "comprised of five key elements: a two-story restaurant and bar, an 8,000 square foot world-class Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, a Cardinals Authentics retail store featuring game used memorabilia on the first floor, one-of-kind special event space available year round and a 330-seat roof top deck with spectacular game views for fans looking for a VIP all-inclusive experience unlike anything in baseball today." 

Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The largest baseball museum in the country aside from Cooperstown — 16,000 memorabilia items and over 80,000 archival photographs.

Operating hours
Open daily 10 AM to 8 PM on non-game days
10 AM until end of 7th inning during night games

Museum OR Stadium Tour Admission
Adult: $12
Senior/Military: $10
Admission Child: $8 (children 3 and under free)

Combo rates (both museum and stadium tour)
Adult: $18
Senior/Military: $16
Child: $14 (children 3 and under free)

8th St. ticket windows.

cardinals.com/museum

Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar

Open daily 11 AM to 12 AM or until 1 hour after game ends on night games.

cardinals.com/cardinalsnation

Other attractions inside the stadium include…

U.S. Cellular Family Pavilion

Located on Level 1 between Gates 5 and 6, on the northeast corner of Busch Stadium — a variety of interactive games and activities open 2 hours prior to each game and continues until one-half hour after the game. Free of charge to enter, however some games have a fee.

U.S. Cellular Family Pavilion includes: Batting Cage, Speed Pitch, T-Ball Cages, Soft-Play Play Area and Pennyman.

Where to sit

Although, like most new ballparks, there really isn't a bad seat in the house, it's recommended by many that you sit anywhere between first and third base. Doing so will give you a great view of the St. Louis city landscape complete with the Gateway Arch. Plus, you'll get a closer look at the best catcher in baseball, Yadier Molina. 

 

What to eat

Best Busch Stadium food

stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com

BROADWAY BBQ (Main level in section 509 near the bleachers)

BBQ Pull Pork Sandwich, Jumbo Hot Dog, Chicken Tenders, Beef Brisket Sandwich, Turkey Leg, Freshly Made Cole Slaw, Baked Beans, French Fries, Regular Soda, Souvenir Soda, Regular Beer, O'Douls

DIZZY'S DINER (Main Level in section 139 and 161, also on the Terrace Level in section 446)

Jumbo Hot Dog, Bratwurst, Hamburger, Double Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger, Chicken Tenders, Footlong Corndog, Veggie Chicken, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, French Fries, Nachos, Nachos Supreme, Cheese Cup, Pretzel, Potato Chips, Licorice, Ice Cream Cone, Ice Cream Helmet, Regular Soda, Souvenir Soda, Bottle Water, Regular Beer, O'Douls, Pretzel dog, Bratzel

EL BIRDOS CANTINA (Main Level in section 148)

Nachos, Nachos Supreme, Nachos Grande w/Pull Pork, Quesadillas, Cheese Cup, Pretzel, Cardinal's Ice Cream Bar, Cookies and Cream Shake, Regular Soda, Souvenir Soda, Bottle Water, Regular Beer, O'Douls

Specialty Fries and Nacho Portable – (Main Level located in section 131 by Gate 1)

Serving garlic fries, St. Louis Seasoned fries, spicy corn nuggets, stuffed potatoes, Mucho Nachos (BUILD IT YOUR WAY), with the choice of beef, chicken or pork and beverages, including Margaritas

Farmer's Market – (Main Level Located in section 136 across from Hardee's)

The location will have gluten free items, healthier snacks, healthier food options, beverages and other stadium snacks.

Gluten Free Items at the Ballpark includes the following:

Bratwurst, regular hot dog, jumbo dog, grilled chicken, polish sausage, hamburgers, cheeseburgers with no bun
Beef brisket and pulled pork with no bun or sauce
Peanuts, turkey legs, red bridge beer and selected items at the Farmer's Market location.

Fan Advice

On Busch Stadium and what to do in St. Louis…

"Go to the Friday games in the summer 2 hrs before the game. Current or former cardinals sign autographs for the first 200 fans (Friday Busch Bash)."

"Soulard bars are good places to go after the game: Hammerstones, lwellens, Johnny's. And all have donation shuttles to and from game. Schlafly brewery is pretty cool too."

"It's a a few miles from the stadium but great food… Pappy's Smokehouse …3106 olive…..it's an Adam wainwright favorite and it has appeared on Man vs Food Challenge."

"If you arrive about 4-5 hours early you can catch the players coming into the stadium on the SW side of the stadium right next to the home plate entrance."

"Pappy's is the best BBQ in STL along with a place called Bogart's, not too far from Busch. Also, get some Ted Drewes custard, about 10 minutes from the stadium."

Best local bars and restaurants

Where to party with the locals

Mike Shannon's

www.mikeshannonsgrill.com

An upscale restaurant just across from Ballpark Village includes an almost museum-like experience for Cardinals fans and "The Outfield," a patio beer garden that gives views of the ballpark and the rest of downtown St. Louis.

Joe Buck’s Downtown

www.jbucks.com

A famous local hot spot for great BBQ before the game.

Broadway Oyster Bay

www.broadwayoysterbar.com

Proclaimed as some of the best Cajun creole food in the area.

Baileys Range

www.baileysrange.com

A favorite hometown burger joint that has a weekly 'battle of the burgers.'

Three Sixty

www.360-stl.com

An upscale restaurant and bar atop the Hilton that gives you a 360 degree view of downtown St. Louis, which includes Busch Stadium. 

Al Hrabosky’s Ballpark Saloon

800 Cerre St. – 314-241-6969

​Hotels

Highest rated on Yelp closest to Busch Stadium

yelp

Where to visit in St. Louis

Busch brewery tour

http://www.budweisertours.com

The Gateway Arch

http://www.gatewayarch.com/experience/the-gateway-arch/museum-of-westward-expansion/

Missouri Civil War Museum

http://mcwm.org/

St. Louis Zoo

http://www.stlzoo.org/

Cardinals all-time moment you need to know

David Freese walk-off home run, Game 6, 2011 World Series

Locals don't want to hear…

"The Arc." It's called the "Arch." 

The stadium has never been blown over by a tornado.

…Although it came close one year — I was at this game… (They had everyone in the stadium take cover within the covered walkways surrounding the stadium as the storm approached. Amazingly they still finished the game after the storm passed.)

Don't wear…

Blue, the color of the Chicago Cubs. Although, if you're ever going to wear an opposing team to any stadium, this would be the place. St. Louis has been known to have the most hospitable fans in all of baseball. Just be prepared to fire back some witty quips at the drop of a hat once fans start bringing up the last World Series championship or Steve Bartman. 

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.

Photo Credit: Getty