Friday, November 25, 2005

Busch Stadium Going Down

I was in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago for a conference. I hadn't been to any such event in a long while - not since library days. Now that's a whole 'nother story, partying librarians. More on that later.

I shared a room with another teacher from a school across town. We got along just fine except for the fact that I had trouble sleeping both nights - probably due to the fact that it was just a strange place, and I'm a light sleeper.

Anyway, I was wide awake both mornings at the crack of dawn, and proceeded to explore downtown St. Louis before the city was awake. It was surprising how few cars and pedestrians were out and about at 6:00 a.m. I swear I saw a coyote walking around down by the arch, and several rabbits hopping around the hotel grounds.

No matter what direction I walked, I was always drawn toward Busch Stadium. Crews were working around the clock wrecking the historic landmark. Though I have never been a big Cardinals fan, I have spent many an hour watching some great baseball at Busch. The arch was a glistening backdrop to perfect symmetry of stadium roof. The pictures don't do it justice.

Next door to old Busch is the new Busch - a stadium built on the model of Camden Yard, a brand new vintage-style baseball field that looks older than the one it replaces. I guess it's a sign of the times that the new stadium will actually seat fewer baseball fans, but stadium revenue is expected to increase due to the construction of larger corporate clubs and boxes. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Missouri taxpayers footed a good deal of the bill for this demolition/construction - but fewer of them will be able to buy tickets to watch a game.

So, here are the early morning pics of the old space-aged Busch coming down. The wrecking ball was banging away, crushing concrete into dust clouds.

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