Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ballpark Villiage

Baseball season opens tomorrow!

I mentioned Ballpark Village in yesterday's post. Ballpark Rubble Dump is more like it. When the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team put its vacuum pumps into the coffers of the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and the State of Missouri to build Busch Stadium III (motto: Make Baseball Safe For the Wealthy), they promised to develop several acres where Busch Stadium II once stood. There was to be a mix of restaurants, entertainment venues, retail, office space and condos. This picture of the site was taken yesterday, two years after the new stadium opened.
The baseball All Star Game will be played in St. Louis in July, 2009. Imagine the reaction of the media when they see our city's beautiful pit.

It's corporate smoke and mirrors, con game and BS. The Cardinals appointed The Cordish Companies as principal developer. Although Cordish has had successful projects elsewhere, not a damn thing has happened here. Last September, a good sized company in the suburbs announced that it would build a new headquarters in Ballpark Village. The dream was resurrected. Last week the deal was canceled. Ballpark Village could not accommodate its needs.

A personal note. In July 1966, young Strangetastes was sitting in his family's apartment in Queens, watching the baseball All Star Game from beautiful new Busch Stadium II in St. Louis. He didn't have a clear idea of where St. Louis actually was. It was a broiling summer day. The playing field was below street level, the circular design cut off all outside air flow and the surface was Astroturf. It was 105 F - 41 C on the field. Casey Stengel, the screwball-sage manager of the New York Yankees and Mets was being interviewed. A reporter asked, "Professor" (that's what people called him), "what do you think about this new stadium in St.Louis?" Casey thought a moment and replied, "Well, I'll tell ya, young fella, it sure seems to hold the heat real good." Little did I know...

TOMORRWOW: National League Champions

1 comment:

Nathalie said...

The photo is a bit creepy, the story is fun!