St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day Activities
By Rachel Huffman
In St. Louis, Opening Day is practically a holiday. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, you’ll likely get swept up in the excitement of Cardinals Nation if you’re in town.
This year, the season begins on March 30, when the St. Louis Cardinals will play the Toronto Blue Jays at Busch Stadium. Tickets for the home opener are coveted and hard to obtain, but even if you can’t snag one, you can still enjoy related festivities throughout the city.
Here’s everything you need to know about Opening Day in St. Louis.
The Golden Ticket
On Opening Day, more than 44,000 fans will converge on Busch Stadium. If you’re a lucky ticket holder, keep in mind that one does not simply go to the game. Opening Day has its own history, comradery and set of traditions that make it one of the best events of the year, and you’ll want to arrive early to experience every second.
Opening Day Pregame
Before the first pitch, Ballpark Village will serve as ground zero for Opening Day activities. From 8 to 10 a.m., you can enjoy a special breakfast buffet at Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar, where Y98 St. Louis will have giveaways, including two tickets to the game! At 10 a.m., Bally Sports Live!, Budweiser Brew House and Sports & Social St. Louis will also open for food, drinks and fun.
After you fuel up, join Todd Thomas and Team Fredbird for a pep rally in the Together Credit Union Plaza – if you don’t have a ticket, this is a great place to watch the game, too. The outdoor big screen will show the birds at bat, and food and drinks will be available at grill stations and portable bars inside Cardinals Nation and Sports & Social St. Louis.
Red-clad fans also descend on the restaurants and bars of Soulard on Opening Day. 1860’s Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Café is a favorite haunt, as customers can hop on the bar’s complimentary shuttle to get to and from the game.
Note: For the 2023 Cardinals season, Windstar Lines has reintroduced the Redbird Express – another easy way to get to the game. Starting on Opening Day, the $15 shuttle will transport baseball fans from St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, Illinois, to the corner of South Broadway and Spruce Street, steps from Busch Stadium. The shuttle begins its route three hours prior to game time, departing every 15 minutes. Each ticket will reserve a seat for a specific departure time from St. Clair Square, and after the game, passengers will board on a first come, first served basis. Return service will begin at the top of the eighth inning and run continuously for two hours post-game.
Opening Day Traditions
Win or lose, the pageantry of Opening Day keeps fans in good spirits. The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales start the party with a parade around the warning track, followed by a procession of Cardinals Hall of Famers, which triggers a roar from the crowd. During the game, splurge on a jumbo hot dog and an ice-cold beer – because they never taste quite as good outside of the ballpark.
The After Party
After the game, stick around for dinner and a drink at one of St. Louis’ renowned restaurants, bars or breweries. Broadway Oyster Bar serves the best gumbo in town with live music in the background, while 4 Hands Brewing Co. offers barrel-aged craft beer, late-night eats and entertaining arcade games. Other hangouts within walking distance of Busch Stadium include Salt + Smoke, Three Sixty on the roof of Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, The Wheelhouse and Baileys’ Range.
If you still have energy after all the excitement, head to the Opening Day party at Tin Roof, featuring DJ Arty J and hordes of jubilant Cardinals fans.
However you choose to spend Opening Day, we hope that the enthusiasm and promise of a winning season stick with you. Go Cards!