Busch Memorial Stadium
The Busch Memorial Stadium, sometimes known as Busch Stadium II was a multi-purpose facility located in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. The venue has been running for four decades, marking its opening in 1966, and eventually being replaced by the third incarnation of this stadium in 2005. This particular stadium served as the home turf of the Cardinals, the local NL baseball team. In addition to that, the Cardinals’ NFL team also played games there for 22 seasons, starting in the year 1966, and ending in 1987. In addition to that, the stadium briefly served as a home to the St. Louis Rams, only for a short segment of the 1995 season.
The stadium was designed by Sverdrup & Parcel. known for their innovative projects. What makes this venue special is the roof, known as the “Crown of Arches.” This particular design was meant to reminisce a Gateway Arch, which had been completed just about one year before the opening of the stadium. This particular shape is colloquially also referred to as cookie-cutter, and this stadium was one of the first of this kind. This stadium came about when the city of St. Louis actually felt a bit left behind in terms of other facilities. New York had the Shea Stadium, while Houston had built its groundbreaking Astrodome. Pretty much all of the major MLB facilities were upgrading their stadiums or building new ones, so St. Louis felt the need to follow suit The idea was to build a multi-purpose stadium, which would serve the community in various capacity. Already by the 1940s, the owner of the Cardinals had set aside a budget to build the new facility. However, the team was not able to secure any land for the project. After a decade of bureaucratic navigations and changes in the management of the Cardinals, the project finally took flight, and groundbreaking finally happened on May 25th, 1964. It took a little less than two years for the stadium to be completed, including various matching facilities, such as a hotel nearby, some office buildings, as well as various parking garages. The stadium went through several renovations throughout the years. For instance, AstroTurf was actually installed in 1970, replacing natural grass, which was quite difficult to manage due to the very hot summer temperatures. The heat made it quite challenging to constantly keep grass alive, and it took a lot of manpower and resources. AstroTurf was indeed a more viable solution, which significantly improve maintenance of this facility.
Eventually, the stadium was demolished by wrecking ball (instead of implosion) due to the fact that it was so close to other facilities, such as the subway line. Part of the original footprint of the former stadium is now a site where the new stadium stands. In addition to various sporting events, this stadium is particularly notable due to the many musical shows that were performed there. The most important concert still remains The Beatles in 1966, as they appeared in the city on occasion of their very last tour of North America. In addition to the Fab Four, the stadium also featured performers such as U2, as well as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Billy Joel, and the New Kids on The Block, not to mention The Rolling Stones and Jefferson Starship, among others!