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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - As the Cardinals begin their tenth season of play in Busch Stadium, the team has made a number of improvements to the stadium during the offseason, including a major expansion of the UMB Champions Club, as well as a variety of other upgrades and maintenance projects throughout the ballpark.
One of the biggest changes fans will note this season is the installation of walk-through metal detectors at all of the gates and stadium entrances as part of Major League Baseball's implementation of mandatory metal detection screening of all guests at all MLB ballparks in 2015.
Cardinal fans can enjoy new menu selections at the concessions and in the suites and a second Barrel Aged Cocktail Bar. New televisions have been installed in various sections of the ballpark.
Stadium upgrades include installation of new backstop netting behind home plate, a new Trivision scoreboard in center field and an enhanced AV system. More directional signage has been installed to assist fans navigating the ballpark. Fans will also find new Cardinals apparel and other merchandise, plus a new specialty retail store.
Located in the heart of the downtown business district, the facility features classic arched openings similar the nearby Cupples Station warehouses, west of the site. The stadium features a creative use of old and new materials, from red brick and concrete to exposed steel and glass.
The majority of spectators have dramatic views of the Gateway Arch and the downtown St. Louis skyline. The ballpark has expanded bleacher sections, a state-of-the-art video board and entertainment system.
The facility has increased access for fans with disabilities, new escalators and more elevators. Disabled drop-off locations are: Gate 2, at Poplar and Eighth Streets; Gate 4 (Plaza of Champions), at Clark and Eighth Streets; and, Gate 6 on Broadway.
A main-level concourse circles the entire ballpark, providing a 360 degree view of the playing field. Home plate is located in the southwest corner of the site. The stadium features lowered seating and scoreboard heights in center field. A public plaza provides a perfect gathering spot for fans before and after games. Ballpark Village will again be the place to be before, during and after the game. Since opening in March of 2014, Ballpark Village has hosted more than 5 million visitors of all ages from across the country and brought hundreds of great events to downtown.
As Ballpark Village enters its second year, several additions and improvements are underway including the recent opening of the new Crown Room second-floor lounge in Budweiser Brew House, the addition of two 15-foot television screens in Fox Sports Midwest Live!, a two-sided permanent outdoor stage next to the Busch II infield and greatly improved sightlines into left center field in Busch Stadium.
Gate 2 - on the corner of Eighth and Poplar, outside the Cardinal Club
Gate 4 - on Clark Street, east of the Team Store entrance
Gate 6 - on Broadway, outside Ford Plaza
Ashtrays are stationed outside exit/re-entry Gates 2, 4, and 6. The entire Busch Stadium staff has been trained to direct fans wishing to smoke to the designated exit/re-entry gates and smoking areas outside the ballpark.
Baseball fans can enjoy a variety of family activities from browsing in the gift shop to video games and picnics. Visitors can also view St. Louis baseball memorabilia from its beginnings in 1892 to present in the Cardinals Hall of Fame. Some of the great players include Dizzy Dean, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson and Red Schoendienst.
The sports and entertainment facility is within walking distance of the Scottrade Center and the Gateway Arch.
Directions: Busch Stadium is north of I-64 and just six blocks east of St. Louis Union Station.
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