As my co-worker put it, "Better hope the power's on."
StlToday.com wrote:The Cardinals celebrated their 2006 World Series title on Monday night at the annual baseball writers banquet and got an extra gift when Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Busch Stadium would be the host for the 2009 All-Star Game.
"One of the nicest parts of this job," Selig said at the banquet, "is going from city to city, and it's polite to say wherever I am that the city has great fans. But I'll say again, this is a remarkable baseball town with really an extraordinary tradition. There can't be a better baseball town in America. So I'm announcing tonight as a measure of our appreciation that in 2009 the All-Star Game will be played here."
St. Louis last hosted the All-Star Game in 1966 in a game best remembered for being played on a sweltering day with a temperature of 103 degrees and typically high July humidity. Since then, baseball's midsummer classic has made its way around North America, but not to St. Louis.
As far back as 2001, Major League Baseball had indicated that if the Cardinals got a new stadium, the city would receive an All-Star Game. Back then, it was hoped that a new stadium would be in place in time for the 2006 game. But when construction on Busch Stadium III didn't start until 2003, it pushed back when St. Louis would get the game.
In 2005, Major League Baseball awarded the 2007 All-Star Game to San Francisco, setting the table for a National League team to get the 2009 game. The 2008 game is expected to be played at Yankee Stadium, in what may be the final year for that ballpark.
"2009 will be a great year to have the All-Star Game in St. Louis," Cards Chairman Bill DeWitt said. "The Ballpark Village should be up and running, and with everything going on downtown by 2009, it should be a showcase for Major League Baseball."
One of the conditions of getting the All-Star Game was making improvements to certain areas of Busch Stadium, specifically the press box. Those improvements have begun and are expected to be in place by opening day. An escalator has been added down the right-field line, and some standing room areas have been removed that led to obstructed views for some season-ticket holders. The Cardinals also have made what was temporary premium seating at field level in the playoffs into permanent seats and are adding women's restrooms.
It will be the fifth time the All-Star Game has been played in St. Louis. The old stadium on Grand Boulevard was the site of the game in 1940, 1948 and 1957.
The '66 game went down in infamy for the scorching heat, and to make matters worse, the game went into extra innings. The heat of that day led Casey Stengel, on hand as an honorary manager, to give a memorable review of the then-new Busch Stadium II: "Sure holds the heat well."
Tickets for the All-Star Game figure to be a hot commodity. Online ticket brokers already are selling seats for this year's game for prices ranging from $600 to more than $3,000.