The Cardinals recently announced plans for their Field of Dust, turning it into a true Ballpark Village, co-sponsored by Anheuser-Busch who will certainly look to cash in on Cardinal nation before, during and after every ball game and hopefully, keep a little activity going throughout the year or at least March through October.
I’m all for it.
The eyesore that currently sits next to Busch Stadium has been prime real estate, just waiting for someone to jump in. I’m glad A-B did the jumping and I look forward to the new Cardinals Hall of Fame and an interior party area that should get quite interesting any time there’s a Cards-Cubs series going on next door.
I’m glad to see the footprint of Busch Stadium finally get extended – that was supposed to have been the concept all along. Once it’s built, there should be a lot more commerce going on downtown, pulling in people even when they don’t have tickets to the game to at least venture down and be a part of the action, even if it’s simply by viewing it on a giant screen in the interior party area.
I believe this still needs to get some funding in order to go through. I hope the naysayers don’t rise up and say that all the money is simply lining the pockets of the DeWitts and Mr. Brito down at the brewery. I’m quite sure A-B has done their due diligence on the potential for profitability of this concept and I’m just as sure they believe it has the potential to become a nice cash cow.
Ultimately, it will benefit the city as well. It’s another tourist stop. It’s more action going on in a downtown that is continuing to re-invent and re-vitalize itself.
Just imagine if the Rams somehow manage to work out their lease and make some of those major improvements to the Edward Jones dome.
Flash forward to a Sunday in October, 2015. The Birds are in action, having made it to the NLCS for a nationally televised game. The Rams are playing in their newly renovated home with the roof opened up to let the sun shine down on the NFC West defending division champs and downtown St. Louis is literally bursting with action. Cards fans are overflowing the new BallPark Village. Exuberant Rams fans are tailgating and toasting their fast out-of-the-gate start as they’ve gathered in the newly expanded whatever it is that the CVC finally approved. Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
Sports does not a downtown make.
It takes commitment from major corporations. It takes vision from our civic leaders to see the potential of what could be. It takes support from all of us in the surrounding metro area to get out of our comfortable confines and head downtown and make St. Louis come alive.
I know we don’t want to hand a blank check to Mr. Kroenke and tell him we’ll build whatever he wants. Same with the Cardinals organization.
But now that they’ve got a major commitment to get the ball rolling, I want to see it happen.
It sure beats looking at a dusty field that’s doing nothing for this city right now.
Make it happen St. Louis.