I’ve received several reader inquiries in response to our posting of the capacity of the new Busch and the associated cut-off of season tickets. Concerns have been expressed about the reduction in seating in the new park and the increase in likelihood that fans who want to attend key games will be unable to do so in the future.
Sadly, it is the reality of the game today. It is a bit like radio. In this world, fewer people who will pay more is more important than a greater number of people who pay less (or nothing).
In these days, ticket revenue is a shrinking portion of the pie. Now, let’s talk luxury boxes. That is a different story. The positive spin is that the old multi-purpose “stadiums” have been replaced by baseball-only “parks” with better sightlines and creature comforts.
Cardinals fans have less about which to complain than those in other cities. Of all eight of the new MLB ballparks that have opened this decade, the Cardinals have both the largest capacity (46,861) as well as the smallest decrease in capacity from the old park to the new (6%).
Note that every new “park” has substantially fewer seats than its predecessor “stadium”. In fact, even before the left field sections are ready in July, the interim capacity of Busch III at 40,713 represents a reduction of 18%, equal to the lowest percentage decrease among new parks that opened this decade.
In other MLB locales, seating sections are being closed off to reduce capacity. In Oakland, for example, starting this season, the entire third deck will no longer be open, reducing seating by 10,000 to 34,000-plus.
I know this is “small” consolation for those who will have to settle for watching the Cardinals play the Pirates instead of the Cubs this summer, but that is the way it is. Planning ahead to see your favorite teams has become a virtual necessity.
|| New Park
|| Citizens Bank Park
||3 Com Park
|| SBC Park
|| Minute Maid Park
|| Comerica Park
||Three Rivers Stadium
|| PNC Park
|| Miller Park
|| Petco Park
||Busch Stadium II
|| Busch Stadium III
|* 40,713 until July 2
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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