The Busch Stadium, also known as Busch Stadium III or The New Busch, is a baseball park located in St. Louis, Missouri. The stadium is a one-of-a-kind establishment, which holds some amazing records, including being home to the largest crowd to attend a baseball game, when a 2019 match between the Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Mother’s Day (May 12) recorded nearly 49.000 spectators. The stadium went through three different iterations before eventually settling for its current format. This is why this stadium is often referred to as Busch Stadium III, as mentioned above! The current stadium replaced the former building, Busch Memorial Stadium, which had been active from 1966 to 2005. The original Bush Stadium, also known as Sportsman’s Park, was a historic stadium built in the late 1880s.
The stadium originated in 1995, when the local team, The Cardinals, were looking to upgrade to a new ballpark to be located downtown in St. Louis. However, it had not been easy for the team to lobby the city and acquire the necessary funding and momentum to start the project. Through years of perseverance, they finally managed to get a contract signed in 2001, and construction works began soon after. One of the reasons why St. Louis decided to get a new stadium was pressure from competing with other stadiums, such as the modernized versions of the Astrodome and the famed Shea Stadiums.
Like many other stadiums in the United States, Busch Stadium uses AstroTurf instead of regular grass, especially because the extremely hot summer climate in this area makes it more convenient and easier to manage since keeping grass alive under those conditions requires a huge amount of resources, as well as extensive daily maintenance. This is a more sustainable approach and a better way to ensure cost-effective maintenance and a high-quality playing turf all year round. Playing conditions are paramount, especially when it comes to baseball and NFL performances.
In addition to hosting baseball games prominently, the Busch stadium has hosted hotel sporting events as well. Most notably, it became the home to several high-profile soccer games, as this sport started gaining momentum in the United States. When The Cardinals are not busy, the stadium is also open to various local high school teams, who get to experience the thrill of a match on a world-class field. According to records, high school students have also been able to hit three home runs throughout the years!
The Busch hosted major European teams due to great public demand, including a legendary game between Manchester and Chelsea, two of the most iconic teams in the British league. The event was highly anticipated, and tickets to the match managed to sell out in just about 20 minutes, with over 48.263 people attending. To this day, this is still considered the largest attendance at a sporting event at this particular stadium, giving the venue another amazing record. Among other international teams, the stadium hosted friendly matches between A.S. Roma (Rome, Italy) and Liverpool F.C. (Liverpool, England, UK). In addition, the Busch Stadium also hosted some high-profile national friendly games, especially the famed match between Bosnia / Herzegovina and Argentina, which was a success, especially because of the substantial Bosniak community that settled in the St. Louis area.
However, concert crowds became even more prominent at concerts, with the band U2 racking in over 50.000 paying audience members in 2011, beating out other major stars, including Metallica, Ed Sheeran, and The Eagles.