Here ye Here ye, All rise for the honorable Judge Clements…..
Please be seated… The Court of Public Opinion is now in session.. Today’s case: Old v New..the Ballpark Edition…
As pretty much all St. Louis residents know, there is a new Busch Stadium downtown. The new version of the stadium (Busch III) is a beautiful new ballpark. But is it really an improvement from the “old Busch”? Lets examine this question further.
The Case for New Busch
A beautiful exterior and an even better interior. The new Busch showcases downtown in a way that the old one never could. Spectators sitting in almost any section of the stadium have a beautiful view of downtown (minus the hole that is Ball Park Village). The Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse are just two of the key landmarks of downtown that can be seen from the ballpark seats.
Two new state of the art viewing screens have replaced the single, out of date screen that was in the previous version of the ballpark. One of the screens is used to show the current batter, his statistics, the line-ups of both teams, the score, and various advertisements. The other screen is specifically for out of town scores. This screen shows the scores, the inning, and what the current situation is in every game that is going on. That is an improvement from the old hand-operated scoreboard.
There is not a bad seat in the house either. I have sat in various locations in the new Busch and I can say from experience that there is not a bad seat in the ballpark. Fans have a great view from anywhere in the stadium. Depending on where you are, you may lose part of the downtown view but you will still get a great view of the game.
The Case for Old Busch
The former home of the St. Louis Cardinals was one of the most unique stadiums in all of baseball. Whether it be because of its unique shape or the ring of arches that circled the top of the stadium, you have to admit that there was no place like it.
Busch Stadium II was home to the Cardinals for forty seasons. It first opened in 1966 and had its first World Championship in 1967 (also over the Tigers). It was one of the “cookie cutter stadiums” named because of its round shape.
The atmosphere in old Busch was amazing. I have never been to another ballpark and been completely surrounded and engulfed by baseball like I was at old Busch. The sounds and the smells of the ballpark were all around. You could not escape the atmosphere and that is one of the things that I believe pulled fans, young and old, into the stadium. That park, though designed for football, gave life to and fully supported the game of baseball.
I sat in various locations in the old stadium as well. While the views were not as beautiful as the new ballpark, they were still very good and suitable for most fans. This stadium had more seats than the new ballpark does. Keep in mind that at old Busch, you did not have a view of downtown. The stadium was complete all the way around. Three levels of seating that surrounded a playing field. This is my biggest gripe of all, if you sell out seats at a stadium that holds more than 58,000 people, why would you make new ballpark SMALLER??
Undecided. The jury is still out on this. I do not think that we have played in the new ballpark long enough or that the fans have had long enough to embrace the new home of the Cardinals. Personally, I still favor the old ballpark to the new but I am not the only Cardinals fan in the world. Until more time passes, the case will remain open in the people’s court…
Today’s session is now adjourned…