I’ve been to a few stadiums around the country and other than my team’s home, Miller Park, I would put Busch Stadium in St. Louis on the top of my list.
The views are great, the stadium and field are beautiful, and everyone (well, most everyone) was accepting and nice.
Of course, Friday night’s game ended up getting rained out, so we ended up buying tickets to Saturday’s game, which was going to be our off day, over Craigslist on Friday night.
Special thanks to the very nice man who sold us his season tickets for below face and emailed them to us. It couldn’t have gone smoother.
Don’t get me wrong – we had no problems with the fans – but the walking vendors were loud, pushy and sometimes downright scary. The Cardinals fans next to us on Saturday afternoon are actually the ones that voiced concern about their safety – and it was only a little tongue-in-cheek.
When we were sitting in the Dugout Box seats down the third base line, we missed as much baseball as we saw thanks to the constant parade of beer vendors giving a very hard sell.
That being said, we certainly hadn’t purchased Box seats, but no one seemed to care. We didn’t have our tickets checked once while we were there. On Saturday, I went to the Box seats to take some pictures, but when no ushers checked on me and it got later into the game, all four of us ended the game down there. On Sunday, our seats were upstairs down the first base line and the angle and our closeness to the edge gave one in our group Vertigo, so we moved again. And again, no one cared.
I know a lot of people are anti seat moving, but I promise we were well behaved. We keep score at most games we go to, so I feel like that’s a free pass for us. We’re clearly not rowdy, drunk fans – we’re nerds!
Beers were $7.50 and were Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select. I didn’t see any other options, but I have to say I wasn’t looking. Again while we were in those Box seats, the ladies behind me were talking about the $15 mixed drinks they were drinking. They had gotten an extra shot, so as to not have to walk to buy the drinks every inning, but I’m thinking the $15 wasn’t worth it for the small glasses they had.
By far the best food we had was a Bratzel – a brat wrapped in a pretzel. It was super tasty, though a bit pricey – $7, I think. The worst part is that it’s only served at a couple of places in the stadium, so it can be a hike to find them.
The coolest “unusual” thing about the stadium is that in the concourse on the first base line there are the old, hand-operated scoreboards that showed the other team’s scores at old Busch Stadium. I later found out from some friends from college that I met at the game that the boards are exactly as they looked when the final regular season out was recorded at Old Busch.
Driving to the game couldn’t have been easier and we parked within blocks for under $20 each time. It seemed as though most fans took the Metro, but we stayed across the river in Illinois and by the time we each would have bought Metro passes, it was just as cheap to drive and park, plus it allowed us to do things around the stadium before and after the game.
We ran into very little game traffic – it never took more than 20 minutes to get out of the area and most of that was spent within the parking lots themselves, not on the streets.
If you’re in St. Louis, you MUST go have Gus’ Pretzels, beef brisket at Pappy’s Smokehouse, and ice cream at Crown Candy Kitchen. Keep in mind that Gus’ and Pappy’s both have limited supply, so go early. Leave time to sit and enjoy the old school soda fountain that is Crown Candy. Best Sundae I’ve ever had.
If you go for a long weekend, do your homework. We found that a lot of restaurants were closed on Sunday night (some on Monday, too) and that left us sitting at the Arch and floundering for somewhere to eat dinner that night.