Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Busch Stadium -- New Changes for a New Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Busch Stadium -- New Changes for a New Season

Article excerpt

The lines getting into Busch Stadium can be long and frustrating. So beginning opening day on Sunday, backpacks will be banned from the stadium.

"What really slows it down are big bags, multiple-compartment bags," said stadium operations vice president Joe Abernathy.

Single-compartment bags such as tote bags will still be allowed, he said.

In a perhaps unfortunate coincidence, one of the new items sold in the stadium store this year is an all-leather backpack made by Rawlings. It, along with an all-leather messenger bag that actually can be carried into the stadium, sells for $499.

Also banned from the stadium this year are open beverage containers. A cup with a soft drink from a fast-food restaurant will have to be left outside, while sealed water bottles will still be allowed.

Another major change this year is intended for fans' safety. The protective netting that formerly ended at the home-plate side of each dugout has now been extended at full height to the outfield end of the dugout.

The new net has strings of a smaller diameter than before and is made without knots, so, according to Abernathy, "looking through it is 15 percent better."

A new season brings changes throughout the stadium, as staff explained Wednesday at media day. These changes range from enhanced sound within the concourse from 150 additional speakers to new game promotions, including a red, white and blue cowboy hat (July 2) and a Bruce Sutter garden gnome bobblehead (April 28).

On April 29, fans of the Cards' home-run celebration can pick up a double bobblehead featuring Carlos Martinez about to throw two cups of water in the face of a joyous Matt Carpenter.

The Hall of Fame Museum across Clark Avenue has received an enticing new bauble this year as well. It is an 1886 championship pendant presented by the fans to each player of the St. Louis Browns in appreciation of their World Series Championship over the Chicago White Stockings a team that later changed its name to the Chicago Cubs.

New food lineup

Fans won't have a smorgasbord of new food items to try at the stadium, but a few new options are available. Three one-third-pound sausages will now be offered: an Old World bratwurst served with sauerkraut, an Italian sausage served with sauted onions and peppers, and a chorizo, also served with sauted onions and peppers. …

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