Touring Cardinal Nation
Once upon a time back to school use to signal the end of summer vacation. Not so for baseball fans, who continue to flock to St. Louis, aka Cardinal Nation, to experience the Cards search for Red October (post season play). Visitors and hometown fans can follow the sea of red each game day to Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village, the epicenter for Cardinal Nation.
Ballpark Village is a multi-purpose entertainment / restaurant venue. Since opening in 2012 Ballpark Village has become the gathering place for fans as a before, during and after game outpost. Once inside the Village you’re drawn to its main attractions; food, brews and live streaming sports – projected on the Fox Midwest Sports Live 40-foot LED screen. The 20,000 square foot screen is the centerpiece of the entertainment marketplace, which includes open seating area occupying the center of the two-story atrium.
Fox Sports Midwest Live could easily be called the big dog with its combo 40-foot LED screen and performance stage. Circling the screen is its bar with VIP seating and a 200-seat restaurant that features burgers, pizzas, sliders and sammies. Referred to as sports theatre, the area is a prime viewing location. The Budweiser Brew House, directly across from the big screen, is a tri-level destination and is considered a must for brew and baseball enthusiasts. Besides great outdoor seating overlooking the ballpark, there’s 239 taps with 50 beer styles plus a menu that was specially designed to be brew friendly.
The premier Cardinal perch is found within Cardinals Nation, the restaurant and home to the AT&T Rooftop. Venues operated by the St. Louis Cardinals. Ticket packages to the rooftop include unique amenities beyond an all you can eat buffet. Tickets allow admittance to the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum and special hook-ups to Busch Stadium via audio/visual feeds
The Cardinals Hall of Fame Museums housed on the second level of Cardinals Nation celebrates the Card’s baseball history and the legacy of one of Major League Baseball’s most successful franchises. The museum’s collection is the largest team-owned collection of over 16,000 artifacts and memorabilia, ranking only second in size to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
To make a baseball hometown vacation extra special consider an overnight or weekend sleepover downtown or at one of the area’s hotels or casino complexes. Most offer special packages during home stands. Or, simply plan a day trip. Take in a Stadium tour, which are offered year-round and takes visitors into the inter sanctum of the Dugout, broadcast booth and the Champions Club, home to the World Series trophies.
Include local sites near and around the ballpark as Anheuser Busch Brewery and the City Museum, both less than a five-minute drive away. Or take a short walk to the Eugene Field House & Toy Museum and the Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch, which is still open during construction. Buy a ticket and take a ride to the top of the Arch for the best view anywhere of the Busch Stadium.
To plan a day or weekend of Cardinal Baseball and to get the hook-up on games, sites and downtown attractions stop in at one of downtown’s St. Louis Visitors Centers, located at the America’s Center, The Old Courthouse or Union Station. Or clink on one the following to help plan a baseball theme vacation.
Guest Blogger Suzanne Corbett contributed to this blog.