Cheap Seats

You can't come in here

June 03, 2008

You can't come in here

Something I have tried to do since the new Busch Stadium opened is get ahold of some seats in different areas of the ballpark from time to time so I can see if from different perspectives.

The only place I always wanted to sit but never did in the old ballpark was the first row of the upper deck in straight away centerfield. I imagine that was quite a perspective... Anyway, I had some seats in section 241 during the last homestand with access to the Redbird club. And the whole situation left me with some mixed emotions.

If you haven't had a chance to go to the Redbird Club -- and most of us haven't because you have to be a personal seat license holder in some of the higher dollar seats behind home plate to gain access -- it spans the area between first and third base behind home plate. Ushers guard the doors like hawks to make sure none of the common folks get in there.

Inside, you'll find fancy custom wallpaper decorated with historic Cardinals baseball cards.. On the walls are blown up historic photos, pieces of baseball art work and dozens of plasma screen televisions. There are all sorts of fancy booths that line the walls and tables where you can watch the on field action through giant windows that keep in the air conditioning. Besides the regular concessions, there is a brick oven pizzaria, a gourmet pretzel stand and other exotic food stations. If that isn't enough, you can adjourn to a leather chair in a lounge area while you decide which of the amenities to sample next.

While it was cool to check out something different. In a way, I think it really stinks that all the fans at the ballpark aren't able to enjoy this area.

Since when did the ballpark become a country club? By trying to cater to the high dollar clientele, the Cardinals have alienated a great deal of the blue collar crowd that has been the core of their support over the years. And maybe the fact the the stadium suddenly isn't selling out anymore has something more to do with the fact that the novelty has worn off for the casual fans who count on getting corporate tickets to go to the games than it does with the product on the field.

Meanwhile, the nine to fivers grow more resentful of "the rich man's ballpark" every time they are confronted with ushers in the elevators and stairways who stand on the landings of the suites and exclusive areas just to make sure no one from the wrong element tries to get in.

I guess I shouldn't complain, however. At least the bleacher fans aren't caged in like we used to be at the old Busch Stadium before renovations eliminated the only underground entrance to the bleacher section and they had to open it up so you could get in other ways.