Busch Stadium Impressions

As I mentioned before, they’ve done a terrific job on the new stadium.  I’ve placed the pictures I took in my photo gallery, feel free to check them out.

When we first arrived at the stadium, and drove past it on our way to park the car, the first impression was how sharp it looked.  All of the corners are sharp and crisp, the walkway support beams on the inside peak through the beautiful brick and create a pleasant contrast.  Speaking of the brick, it really made it stand out in a landscape of construction and parking lots.  You can’t help looking at it, even if it just caught the corner of your eye.  The old Busch just didn’t pop like that.

The inside is more of the same.  The layout of all of the support beams and walkways and escalators is done in such a way as to make it all look very attractive.  They all form crisp lines jog all around you.  I think one of the biggest things that hit me as I first walked inside was just how large the park is.  I’ve never been in a stadium with walkways as wide and spacious as these.  No matter where we were, the walkways just seemed enormous.  We were able to walk around almost anywhere and really have problems bumping into people.  By comparison, in the old stadium it felt like you almost had to just push your way through crowds.  Not so here.  Even right after the game ended and everyone was rushing towards the exits – it just didn’t seem congested and traffic flowed smoothly out of the stadium.  Walkways and exits were everywhere.  There were stairs, ramps, escalators, and I think I may have seen a sign for an elevator too.

The seats.  I don’t know if it’s just because we were sitting in the Redbird Club sections or what, but the seats were definitely wider than in the past.  A welcome change.  I tried looking at seats in other sections and I came away with the same impression from them.  The ones we were in had a cushioned bottom to them which made them very comfortable for the duration of the game.  I’ve heard from a coworker that some (field boxes) also have a padded back to them, and the regular seats don’t have padding at all.

The skyline/view.   We walked into view of the field from behind homeplate, near a very large wheelchair platform.  The view from back there during the daylight is very impressive even with the construction visible beyond left field.  Once all of that work is complete, I’m sure it’ll just top it off.  The night we were there the arch wasn’t lit up like it usually is, so the nighttime view really wasn’t anything special.  I’m looking forward to seeing it on a night when it’s lit up.

The view screen(s).  All I have to say about the video screens is.. WOW.  I haven’t looked it up, but the main video screen has to be HD.  We were sitting on the other side of the stadium, a few hundred feet away, and when they showed video of the pitcher on the mound, you could see texture in the grass.  And boy is it vibrant.  All of the screens throughout the stadium were very vivid and easy to read, another welcome change.

The foul poles.  Yep, they’re huge.

Overall, the attention to detail is apparent everywhere.   The Cardinals have done a marvelous job in designing and building this worthy successor, and I don’t expect it to take many more visits for me to feel as comfortable as I used to in the last one.