A pregame ceremony that welcomes home the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals, honors the club’s Hall of Famers and commemorates the great tradition of Opening Day in St. Louis will punctuate a day of activities celebrating the annual return of baseball to St. Louis on Thursday, April 5. The Cardinals will open the 2018 home slate against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 6:15 p.m. CT. Following is a schedule of official activities and information to help fans enjoy the unofficial holiday that is #OpeningDaySTL:
12:00 – 3:15 p.m. Opening Day Pep Rally at Ballpark Village: Join Fredbird, Team Fredbird and DJ Todd Thomas at the Ballpark Village parking lot for the Cardinals Opening Day Pep Rally. This event is free for all fans to attend and will proceed rain or shine. Danny Cox, Kyle McClellan and the FOX Sports Midwest announcers will stop by with plenty of Cardinals prizes and even some Opening Day tickets to give away. Food and drinks will be available for purchase as well.
3:00 p.m. Gates Open
2018 Cardinals Magnet Schedule: All ticketed-fans, ages 21 and older, will receive a magnet featuring the 2018 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser.
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Cardinals Batting Practice (subject to change)
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Diamondbacks Batting Practice (subject to change)
5:30 p.m. Pregame ceremonies begin with an appearance by the famed Budweiser Clydesdales
Introduction of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger
Introduction of Fredbird and Team Fredbird
5:35 p.m. Hall of Famers will be introduced via a Ford Motorcade around the warning track. Hall of Famers will be riding in 2018 Ford Mustang convertibles.
Introduction of 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class
Cardinals Opening Day Video
5:50 p.m. Introduction of Cardinals principal owner and CEO, Bill DeWitt Jr.
Introduction of the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals via Ford Motorcade. The players will ride in 2018 Ford F-150 Raptors.
Introduction of the Arizona Diamondbacks
Color Guard and American Flag in center field, courtesy of the service men and women of Scott Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, respectively.
6:05 p.m. National Anthem performed by Colleen Schoendienst, daughter of Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst
6:07 p.m. KC-135 Flyover (weather permitting)
6:09 p.m. Ceremonial First Pitch by Bob Gibson to Tim McCarver in recognition of Bob Gibson’s historic 1968 season.
6:15 p.m. First Pitch
Watching on TV
Fans can watch the pregame ceremonies in High Definition on FOX Sports Midwest beginning at 5:30 p.m. Live pregame coverage will start at 4:00 p.m. The game will also be broadcast nationally outside of the Cardinals home television territory on MLB Network.
Fans can tune into KMOX (1120 AM) or one of the 150 stations in the Cardinals Radio Network to hear Mike Shannon and John Rooney call the game. The Ameren Total Access Show starts at 4:40 p.m.
Online or On The Go
Fans may also follow the game for free on cardinals.com using the Gameday application or via the team’s Twitter account (@Cardinals). Fans can keep tabs on the score from their mobile device using MLB’s mobile app, At Bat 18.
The Cardinals Home Opener, including Opening Day Ceremonies, will be streamed live on the FOX Sports GO app and at FOXSportsGo.com (available in Cardinals territory).
Getting To The Game
Per MoDOT, motorists should be aware of the following on-going road closures:
· I-44, St. Louis City, two lanes closed westbound from Arsenal to Shrewsbury until December.
· I-64, St. Louis City, one lane closed eastbound across the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois until December.
· I-64, St. Louis City, one lane closed westbound across the Poplar Street Bridge through December.
As usual, Clark Street will be closed to vehicular traffic in between the stadium and Ballpark Village.
Fans coming to the game will notice some construction near the ballpark with the work underway to build the second phase of Ballpark Village. While some areas are closed off to vehicular traffic, pedestrian access remains open to Ballpark Village as well as Clark Street. Fans are encouraged to allow extra time and pay attention to signs as they make their way to the ballpark.
MetroLink is a convenient alternative to driving. To avoid the traffic congestion and the cost of parking on game days, fans can use one of 21 free Park-Ride lots along the MetroLink line and take the train to Stadium Station, right across the street from the ballpark. MetroLink will have additional security and personnel located throughout the light rail system to assist passengers on Thursday. MetroLink will also monitor platforms for crowds and will add extra trains to service as need. Visit MetroStLouis.org or download the Metro On The Go app for schedules and Park-Ride lots nearest you.
There are also plenty of buses in Missouri and Illinois that will get fans to Busch Stadium including the Redbird Express that departs from the Water Tower at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, Illinois. On Opening Day, the first Redbird Express bus will leave at 1:15 p.m. and the last bus will leave at 5:35 p.m. MetroBus is another great option for getting downtown. Fans can catch the #40 Broadway or #99 Downtown Trolley, which both have stops near Busch Stadium.
Updated Prohibited Items Policy
· Fans can visit cardinals.com/security for the complete inspection policy & prohibited items list.
· New: Fans may bring empty cups, empty mugs and empty plastic bottles.
· New: Fans may bring ice packs.
· Not Permitted: Backpacks, alcohol, thermoses, hard-sided coolers, aluminum or glass cans/bottles, commercial camera equipment
Busch Stadium Re-Entry
· New: Exit stamps will be available for guests who need to exit the stadium but plan to return. The stamps will be located at Gate 1 (southeast corner of stadium) and Gate 4 (northwest corner of stadium).
Ballpark Improvements for 2018
A number of physical improvements have been made within Busch Stadium to improve the fan experience:
· Budweiser Terrace: A redesign and renovation of the upper right field seating area and adjacent concourse on Level 4. The 20,000 square foot multilevel area includes two full-service bars, standing areas and lounge seating within the bowl of the stadium, cozy cabana seating with urban garden accents on the concourse, open air BBQ grill and a newly constructed covered performance stage. Fans do not need a special ticket to access the Budweiser Terrace and standing/lounge areas within the seating bowl are all available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Budweiser Terrace will serve as the main activation area for Cardinals Theme Ticket events and live pregame performances.
· 1764 Craft Pub: Located behind Section 141, the new 1764 Craft Pub features a variety of local and national beer. With over 28 varietals of beer and 40 taps, guests will find strong representations of local crafts among classic and influential breweries.
· Self-Ordering Concession Kiosks: Located at concession stands outside Section 135 (Double Play Tap ‘n Grill) & 162 (Ballpark Favorites), our new self-ordering platform will allow guests to view menus with photos, make selections, customize their order and process payment directly at the terminal. The secure payment platform ensures guests have full control over their payment and even have the ability to process digital payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
· Terrace Market: A third Schnucks Grab ‘N Go Market has been added on the Terrace level behind Section 450. The self-serve, pay at the register store gives fans the option to purchase a variety of soda, beer, water, dry snacks, novelty ice cream, and fresh sandwiches, salads and wraps in a quick and efficient manner.
· AT&T Coverage: AT&T has completed upgrades to their existing Distributed Antenna System (DAS) to improve throughput and serve more users. More than 300 antennas hidden throughout Busch Stadium helps manage heavy wireless traffic so fans can enjoy a faster, more reliable connection.
Delaware North Sportservice, the club’s concessionaire for more than 50 years, is preparing to welcome fans back to Busch Stadium. Delaware North Executive Chef Larry Johnson and his culinary team have developed a few new menu items for the 2018 season, including:
· Gioia’s Hot Salami Sandwich: St. Louis Hill classic since 1918! A James Beard Award winning sandwich featuring Gioia’s hot salami, Italian bread, pepper jack cheese, diced onions, sliced pepperoncini’s and deli mustard. Served with house blend chips. Served at: Concourse Stand behind Section 151 for $14.25.
· Coca-Cola Cantina Street Tacos: Three tacos with Coca-Cola marinated house smoked pork, Coca-Cola infused BBQ sauce, fresh pico de gallo, toasted onions, lime wedge. Served at: Coke Cantina at Gate 1 for $9.
· Grilled Chicken Bats: Smoked chicken legs with choice of BBQ, Buffalo or Hot Honey sauces. Served with house blend chips and grilled jalapeño. Served at: Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $7.
· Sausage Bites: Bacon Onion Cheddar, Whiskey Peppercorn, or Mango Habanero sausage topped with spicy aioli. Served with house blend chips and grilled jalapeño. Served at Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $8.75.
· Jumbo Shrimp Skewer: Four Jumbo Shrimp, grilled to order, marinated with minced garlic and fresh lime. Served with house blend chips and grilled jalapeño. Served at: Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $12.
· Grand Slam Mixed Grill: Sampling of Grilled Chicken Bats, Sausage Bites and Jumbo Shrimp Skewer. Served with house blend chips and grilled jalapeño. Served at: Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $25.
Budweiser Ballpark Pass
Following a successful launch in 2017, the popular ticket subscription service returns for 2018. Fans can attend as many Cardinals home games as they want each month for a monthly fee of $29.99. Subscribers will have a Standing Room Only ticket to each regular season game (except Opening Day) digitally delivered to their smartphone via the MLB.com Ballpark app. The subscription will automatically renew each month and subscribers can cancel at any time. To purchase the Budweiser Cardinals Ballpark Pass or for more information, visit cardinals.com/pass.
Cardinals 2018 Hall of Fame Voting
Earlier this month, Vince Coleman, Keith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Ray Lankford, Scott Rolen, Lee Smith and John Tudor were revealed as the seven players nominated for possible induction into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. The seven nominees appear on the Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot online at cardinals.com/HOF presented by Edward Jones. The two players with the most online fan votes after voting concludes on April 12 will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this August. #CardsHOF
Cardinals Museum 2018 Special Exhibit
This year’s new museum special exhibit entitled “Goodwill through Baseball: Cardinals Across the Pacific” examines how the Cardinals MLB’s baseball goodwill tours across the Pacific have helped pave the way for players to join leagues in the United States and Japan.
The exhibit features over 80 artifacts relating to the history of Major League Baseball on tour in Japan and highlights the Museum’s collection related to the Cardinals 1958 tour with Stan Musial and the club’s 1968 tour featuring Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. The special exhibit is open to the public through the conclusion of the 2018 baseball season and is included with admission to the museum. #CardsMuseum
Cardinals Insider with Ozzie Smith
Cardinals Insider is a Mid-America Emmy-nominated weekly news magazine television show hosted by Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. Now in its third season, the club-produced, half-hour show is available within 17 television markets in nine states. It provides fans with behind-the-scenes, insider access to the Cardinals from team journalists. Cardinals Insider gives fans an all-access pass to everything Cardinals baseball featuring exclusive interviews, news updates, profiles and more. For more information and an updated programming schedule for the show, head to cardinals.com/insider. #CardsInsider
Cardinals Fan Music Contest
The club has launched the first-ever Cardinals Fan Music Contest as a way for fans to share their creativity and musical talent, along with their passion for Cardinals baseball. Fans are asked to write, perform and share an original Cardinals-inspired song/anthem and share the performance via a video or audio file. One lucky performance will be crowned the winner and receive a trip to Nashville to have their song professionally recorded and mastered at the Shoe Box Studios. The Cardinals will also produce a professional music video and share the artist’s work with all of Cardinals Nation! Details can be found at cardinals.com/MusicContest.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1998 Home Run Race that ultimately concluded with Mark McGwire establishing a new MLB single-season home run record. All season long, we will share content on our social media channels that helps fans relive the 1998 Home Run Race; including videos of all 70 of Big Mac’s home runs, real-time updates on the home run count of McGwire, Sosa and Griffey Jr. and fan images that convey the excitement of that amazing season. As part of the lookback, the team will be asking fans to share their photos, memorabilia, stories and experiences from the historic 1998 season as the fan perspective is an important part of this historic time in baseball. Fans can share their favorite #BigMacFlashback memories with us using our online submission form at cardinals.com/McGwire.
High School Video Challenge
In December, the Cardinals launched the Third Annual High School Video Challenge initiative that offers high school students in the St. Louis area a unique opportunity to compete for the chance to write, create and produce a video featuring Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and Fredbird with the team at the students’ school. Students were asked to develop an original video that promotes the St. Louis Cardinals and the students’ high school. Three video submissions were selected as finalists from Clayton, Owensville and Rockwood Summit, which were then voted on by fans online. The Cardinals are happy to announce that the students from Clayton High School have won the High School Video Challenge! Their winning video entry can be seen at cardinals.com/studentvideochallenge.
2018 Official Team Media Guide
The Cardinals official team Media Guide has long been relied upon by journalists and broadcasters who cover the team. Containing stats, photos and biographies of every player in the Cardinals organization, along with the definitive history of the club since its inception, the official team Media Guide is the most comprehensive book about the Cardinals. The 2018 Media Guide is available for $20 at the Official Cardinals Team Store, Cardinals Authentics Shop or online at cardinals.com/mediaguide.
Official 2018 Cardinals Scorecard
Adorned with beautiful retro cover art by acclaimed St. Louis illustrator Mike Right—the scorecard designer since 2003—this season’s scorecard also features a tutorial on how to keep score the “Cardinal Way,” a method practiced by club officials since the 1940s. Purchase the scorecard individually—or with the latest edition of Cardinals Magazine for just $5—from Busch Stadium vendors inside the gates, team store locations and red merchandise carts. Scorecards are also available for purchase at cardinals.com/scorecard.
2018 Economic Impact Analysis
Based on a projected Cardinals regular season attendance of three million fans, the St. Louis Regional Chamber projects that the team will generate an estimated $160.4 million in direct impact and another $141.9 million in indirect spending. These impacts reach a total of $302.3 million in regional economic activity. The Chamber’s analysis uses the economic impact model, IMPLAN, which measures how spending tied to an event has multiple impacts and spreads throughout a region, thereby benefiting households and firms within the region. The figures are based on estimates of visitor spending and operations expenditures at Busch Stadium. Historically, out-of-town visitors constitute over 40% of game attendees and visitor spending on dining, lodging and shopping provides a significant boost to the regional economy.