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Busch Memorial Stadium

Busch Memorial Stadium

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Busch Memorial Stadium, also known as Busch Stadium, was a multi-purpose sports facility in St. Louis, Missouri that operated from 1966 to 2005.

The stadium served as the home of the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

 National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 team for its entire operating existence, while also serving as home to the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

's Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 team from 1966 to 1987. It opened four days after the last baseball game was played in Sportsman's Park
Sportsman's Park
Sportsman's Park was the name of several former Major League Baseball ballpark structures in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, all but one of which were located on the same piece of land, the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard and Dodier Street on the north side of the city.- History :From...

 (which had also been known since 1953 as Busch Stadium).

Similar in style to other multi-purpose sports stadiums built during the same time period, it was sometimes referred to as a "Cookie cutter"-style stadium.

The stadium was designed by Sverdrup & Parcel
Sverdrup & Parcel
Sverdrup & Parcel was an American civil engineering company formed in 1928 by Leif J. Sverdrup and his college engineering professor John I. Parcel. The company worked primarily in a specialty field of bridges. Many of the company's projects were located in the St...

 and built by Grün & Bilfinger
Bilfinger Berger
Bilfinger Berger is a large, internationally active construction and services company based in Mannheim, Germany.-History:Bilfinger Berger dates back to 1880 when August Bernatz founded an engineering business which became known, from 1886 as Bernatz & Grün and, from 1892, as Grün & Bilfinger.In...

. Edward Durrell Stone designed the park's most enduring feature, the roof's 96-arch "Crown of Arches," The Crown echoed the iconic Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch, or Gateway to the West, is an arch that is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri. It was built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States...

, which was completed only a year before Busch Stadium officially opened. It was one of the first multipurpose facilities built in the United States from the early 1960s through the early 1980s, along with those in Washington, New York
Shea Stadium
William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, usually shortened to Shea Stadium or just Shea , was a stadium in the New York City borough of Queens, in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. It was the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Mets from 1964 to 2008...

, Houston, Atlanta
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, often shortened to "Fulton County Stadium," was a multi-purpose stadium that formerly stood in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.-History:...

, Pittsburgh
Three Rivers Stadium
Three Rivers Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1970 to 2000. It was home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the city's Major League Baseball franchise and National Football League franchise respectively.Built as a replacement to...

, San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Qualcomm Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium, in San Diego, California, in the Mission Valley area....

, Cincinnati, Philadelphia
Veterans Stadium
Philadelphia Veterans Stadium was a professional-sports, multi-purpose stadium, located at the northeast corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex...

, Minneapolis
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, commonly called the Metrodome, is a domed sports stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Opened in 1982, it replaced Metropolitan Stadium, which was on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington and Memorial Stadium on the University...

 and some others. The original design of the stadium had called for a baseball-only format, but the design was altered to accommodate football, a fact which arguably shortened its existence. The stadium was demolished by wrecking ball
Wrecking ball
A wrecking ball is a heavy steel ball, usually hung from a crane, that is used for demolishing large buildings. It was most common during the 1950s and 1960s. Several wrecking companies claim to have invented the wrecking ball...

 in late 2005, and part of its former footprint is used by its replacement stadium, the new Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium
Busch Stadium is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, of MLB...

.

Baseball

  • 49,275 (1966)
  • 49,450 (1967-1970)
  • 50,126 (1971-1978)
  • 50,222 (1979-1986)
  • 53,138 (1987)
  • 54,224 (1988-1989)
  • 54,727 (1990-1994)
  • 57,078 (1995)
  • 57,673 (1996)
  • 49,676 (1997-2000)
  • 50,345 (2001-2005)

History


The baseball Cardinals had been looking for a stadium of their own as early as the 1940s. Although they had been the tenants of the St. Louis Browns
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

 at Sportsman's Park
Sportsman's Park
Sportsman's Park was the name of several former Major League Baseball ballpark structures in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, all but one of which were located on the same piece of land, the northwest corner of Grand Boulevard and Dodier Street on the north side of the city.- History :From...

 since , they had long since passed the Browns as St. Louis' favorite team. After several false starts and the demolition of Chinatown, St. Louis
Chinatown, St. Louis
Chinatown in St. Louis, Missouri was a Chinatown near Downtown St. Louis that existed from 1869 until its demolition for Busch Memorial Stadium in 1966. While in existence, it was bounded by Seventh, Tenth, Walnut and Chestnut streets. Although the original St...

 for space for the stadium, ground was finally broken in May 1964.
When it opened it was known as Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium (though the "Civic Center" was almost never used in the media) until New Year's Day 1982, when it became just Busch Stadium. The stadium
Stadium
A modern stadium is a place or venue for outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage either partly or completely surrounded by a structure designed to allow spectators to stand or sit and view the event.)Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event...

's name came from the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. , is an American brewing company. The company operates 12 breweries in the United States and 18 in other countries. It was, until December 2009, also one of America's largest theme park operators; operating ten theme parks across the United States through the...

, who owned the baseball team until March 1996 and championed the stadium's construction.

The grounds were home to bronze statues of Stan Musial
Stan Musial
Stanley Frank "Stan" Musial is a retired professional baseball player who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals . Nicknamed "Stan the Man", Musial was a record 24-time All-Star selection , and is widely considered to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball...

, Enos Slaughter
Enos Slaughter
Enos Bradsher Slaughter , nicknamed "Country", was an American Major League Baseball right fielder. During a 19-year baseball career, he played from 1938–1942 and 1946-1959 for four different teams, but is noted primarily for his time with the St...

, Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Dean
Jay Hanna "Dizzy" Dean was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season. Dean was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953....

, Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby
Rogers Hornsby, Sr. , nicknamed "The Rajah", was an American baseball infielder, manager, and coach who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball . He played for the St. Louis Cardinals , New York Giants , Boston Braves , Chicago Cubs , and St. Louis Browns...

, Red Schoendienst
Red Schoendienst
Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst is an American Major League Baseball coach, former player and manager, and 10-time All-star. After a 19-year playing career with the St...

, Lou Brock
Lou Brock
Louis Clark "Lou" Brock is an American former professional baseball player. He began his Major League Baseball career with the Chicago Cubs but, spent the majority of his career as the left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Brock was best known for breaking Ty Cobb's all-time major league...

, Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson
Robert "Bob" Gibson is a retired American professional baseball player. Nicknamed "Hoot" and "Gibby", he was a right-handed pitcher who played his entire 17-year Major League Baseball career with St. Louis Cardinals...

, James 'Cool Papa Bell, George Sisler
George Sisler
George Harold Sisler , nicknamed "Gentleman George" and "Gorgeous George," was an American professional baseball player for 15 seasons, primarily as first baseman with the St. Louis Browns...

, Jack Buck
Jack Buck
John Francis "Jack" Buck was an American sportscaster, best known for his work announcing Major League Baseball games of the St. Louis Cardinals. Buck received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, and is honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame...

 and most recently, Ozzie Smith
Ozzie Smith
Osborne Earl "Ozzie" Smith is an American former baseball shortstop who played in Major League Baseball for the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals from 1978 to 1996...

. The stadium's playing surface, originally natural grass, was replaced with Astroturf
AstroTurf
AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. Although the term is a registered trademark, it is sometimes used as a generic description of any kind of artificial turf. The original AstroTurf product was a short pile synthetic turf while the current products incorporate modern features such as...

 in 1970 because St. Louis' typically hot summers made it difficult to keep the grass alive. Originally, the Cardinals continued to use a full dirt infield, but replaced it with an all-Astroturf infield (except for sliding pits around the bases) in 1976.

By the early 1990s, the stadium appeared to be falling into disrepair. Following Busch's last 1995 event (the Rams' last home game prior to the opening of the now-Edward Jones Dome
Edward Jones Dome
The Edward Jones Dome The Edward Jones Dome The Edward Jones Dome (more formally known as the Edward Jones Dome at America's Center, and previously known as The Trans World Dome (from 1995–2001) is a multi-purpose stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, and home of the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. It was...

), the Cardinals began a massive project to retrofit it into a baseball-only stadium. A large section of the upper deck outfield seats was closed. In its place, a hand-operated scoreboard and several flags commemorating the Cardinals' retired numbers were installed. The stadium's AstroTurf field was torn up and replaced with natural grass, and the outfield walls were repainted green from their original blue.

Football



Busch Stadium was the home of the St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

, beginning with that team's 1966
1966 NFL season
The 1966 NFL season was the 47th regular season of the National Football League, and the season after which was played Super Bowl I, though it was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The league expanded to 15 teams with the addition of the Atlanta Falcons, thus an odd number of teams...

 season. They remained there through the 1987
1987 NFL season
The 1987 NFL season was the 68th regular season of the National Football League. A 24-day players' strike reduced the 16-game season to 15. The games that were scheduled for the third week of the season were canceled, but the games for weeks 4–6 were played with replacement players...

 season. However, the stadium was one of the smaller facilities in the NFL, never seating more than 60,000. After efforts to get a larger stadium failed, owner Bill Bidwill
Bill Bidwill
William V. "Bill" Bidwill, Sr. is the principal owner and chairman of the board of the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was part-owner from 1962 to 1972 with his brother Charles, Jr. and has been sole owner since 1972.-Education:Bidwill went to Georgetown Preparatory School,...

 moved the team to Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

 after the 1987 season.

Busch Stadium was also briefly the home of the St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams are a professional American football team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are currently members of the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Rams have won three NFL Championships .The Rams began playing in 1936 in Cleveland,...

, who relocated from Anaheim Stadium
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Angel Stadium of Anaheim is a modern-style ballpark located in Anaheim, California. It is the home ballpark to Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of the American League, and was previously home to the NFL's Los Angeles Rams...

 in Anaheim, California
Anaheim, California
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was about 365,463, making it the most populated city in Orange County, the 10th most-populated city in California, and ranked 54th in the United States...

, to move into the new and nearby Trans World Dome, later renamed the Edward Jones Dome
Edward Jones Dome
The Edward Jones Dome The Edward Jones Dome The Edward Jones Dome (more formally known as the Edward Jones Dome at America's Center, and previously known as The Trans World Dome (from 1995–2001) is a multi-purpose stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, and home of the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. It was...

. Since construction on their new home was delayed, the Rams played their first four 1995 games
1995 NFL season
The 1995 NFL season was the 76th regular season of the National Football League. The league expanded to 30 teams with the addition of the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars...

 at Busch Stadium.

The stadium never hosted a playoff game during the Cardinals' 28-year run in St. Louis. The "Gridbirds" made only three playoff appearances during that stretch, losing at the Minnesota Vikings
1974 Minnesota Vikings season
-References:...

 in 1974
NFL playoffs, 1974-75
The NFL playoffs following the 1974 NFL season led up to Super Bowl IX. This was the last season in which the sites for the playoff games annually alternated by division.-Bracket:-AFC: Oakland Raiders 28, Miami Dolphins 26:...

, Los Angeles Rams
1975 Los Angeles Rams season
The 1975 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's 38th year with the National Football League and the 30th season in Los Angeles.-NFL Draft:-Schedule:-Week 1: Dallas Cowboys:-Playoffs:-Standings:-References:*...

 in 1975
NFL playoffs, 1975-76
The NFL playoffs following the 1975 NFL season led up to Super Bowl X. This was the first season in which the league used a seeding system in the playoffs. Thus, the surviving clubs with the higher seeds were made the home teams for each playoff round...

 and Green Bay Packers
1982 Green Bay Packers season
The 1982 Green Bay Packers season was their 62nd season in the National Football League and shortened due to a players strike. The club posted a 5–3–1 record under coach Bart Starr. Due to the strike, the NFL ignored division standing and placed eight teams from each conference into the playoffs....

 in 1982
NFL playoffs, 1982-83
The NFL playoffs following the 1982 NFL season led up to Super Bowl XVII.A players' strike reduced the regular season to nine games. Thus, the league used a special 16-team playoff format , just for this year. Division standings were ignored...

.

Baseball



In its opening year, Busch Stadium hosted the 1966 All-Star Game
1966 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1966 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 37th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League and the National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 12, 1966 at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri...

, a 2-1 National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 victory in 10 innings most notable for being played in humid 105 °F (40.6 °C) temperatures. The stadium hosted World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 games in six different seasons: , , , , , and . The Cardinals won the World Series in 1967 and 1982 while playing in the stadium (the 1982 World Series was won at the stadium). The 1968 and 2004 World Series were clinched in Busch Stadium as well by the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

 and Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 respectively.

The stadium was also the site of Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire
Mark David McGwire , nicknamed "Big Mac", is an American former professional baseball player who played his major league career with the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals. He is currently the hitting coach for the St...

's historic 62nd home run of the 1998 season that broke Roger Maris
Roger Maris
Roger Eugene Maris was an American Major League Baseball right fielder. During the 1961 season, he hit a record 61 home runs for the New York Yankees, breaking Babe Ruth's single-season record of 60 home runs...

' single-season record, and also of McGwire's 70th of that season, for a record which lasted until Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds
Barry Lamar Bonds is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. Bonds played from 1986 to 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He is the son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds...

 surpassed it in 2001. The dimensions in center and the power alleys had been altered from time to time over the years. Initially the park was very favorable to pitchers, with spacious outfield dimensions. Consequently, its design (as well as the Astroturf surface) was favorable to the Cardinals' style of play for most of the time from the 1960s through the 1990s, which emphasized good baserunning and extra-base hits. Later changes attempted to make the outfield better balanced between pitching and power hitting.

Concerts


The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 performed at the stadium during their final North American Tour on August 21, 1966.

Super Jam 76 was held at Busch Stadium - acts included Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent, Jefferson Starship and Fleetwood Mac

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 performed at the stadium during their Steel Wheels Tour on September 17, 1989.

U2
U2
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono , The Edge , Adam Clayton , and Larry Mullen, Jr. . U2's early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music...

 performed at the stadium during their Zoo TV Tour
Zoo TV Tour
The Zoo TV Tour was a worldwide concert tour by rock band U2. Staged in support of their 1991 album Achtung Baby, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 1992 through 1993...

 on September 20, 1992.

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 performed at the stadium during The New World Tour
The New World Tour
In 1993, Paul McCartney and his band embarked upon The New World Tour, spanning almost the entire year and almost the entire globe. The tour was intended to promote McCartney's album Off the Ground...

 on April 29, 1993. This was his first performance at the stadium since The Beatles' final tour in 1966.

Demolition



Busch Memorial Stadium was originally slated to be imploded
Building implosion
In the controlled demolition industry, building implosion is the strategic placing of explosive material and timing of its detonation so that a structure collapses on itself in a matter of seconds, minimizing the physical damage to its immediate surroundings...

 like most modern-day stadium demolition
Demolition
Demolition is the tearing-down of buildings and other structures, the opposite of construction. Demolition contrasts with deconstruction, which involves taking a building apart while carefully preserving valuable elements for re-use....

s to be able to finish construction on the new stadium in time for the 2006 season. However, due to fear of damaging the nearby Metro subway rail line and stadium station, it was decided to tear down the stadium with a wrecking ball
Wrecking ball
A wrecking ball is a heavy steel ball, usually hung from a crane, that is used for demolishing large buildings. It was most common during the 1950s and 1960s. Several wrecking companies claim to have invented the wrecking ball...

 piece-by-piece over a period of a few weeks.

Demolition of the stadium began at 3:07 Central Standard Time on November 7, 2005.

Current use and plans for site


Part of the footprint of the old stadium is now occupied by the outfield of the current stadium. The Cardinals had planned to build Ballpark Village
St. Louis Ballpark Village
St. Louis Ballpark Village is a planned $650 million development in downtown St. Louis, Missouri that will occupy the site of the previous Busch Stadium...

 on the site of the stadium ($320 million for the first phase). It was to consist of boutiques and restaurants, condominium apartments anchored by the new headquarters of Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation is in the industry of Medicaid managed care.Centene is a multi-line health care enterprise operating primarily in two segments: Medicaid managed care and specialty services...

 -- all to be built in time for the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 80th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League and the National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 14, 2009, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the...

.

None of the construction has occurred and locals derisively refer to its rain soaked unfinished status as "Lake Dewitt" -- after Cardinal President William DeWitt, Jr.
William DeWitt, Jr.
William O. DeWitt, Jr. is an American businessman and currently the managing partner and chairman of the St. Louis Cardinals. He served on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during the George W...

  The Cardinals in March 2009 announced the site would be used for a softball field and parking during the game.

In popular culture


Because the stadium was an iconic symbol of St. Louis, it was seen in many films set in St. Louis.
  • In the film The Black Hole, the stadium was destroyed/sucked up by a black hole
    Black hole
    A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

    .
  • In the film Supernova, the stadium is destroyed when a meteor
    METEOR
    METEOR is a metric for the evaluation of machine translation output. The metric is based on the harmonic mean of unigram precision and recall, with recall weighted higher than precision...

     from a supernova
    Supernova
    A supernova is a stellar explosion that is more energetic than a nova. It is pronounced with the plural supernovae or supernovas. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months...

     obliterates St. Louis.

External links