Just a parking lot? Not anymore!
The St. Louis Cardinals' decade-plus Ballpark Village project completed its $100 million first phase today, a milestone marked by the placing a giant metal truss atop the building that, once completed, hopes to offer all the Cardinals goodies a fan could want.
Anheuser-Busch Brewhouse with restaurant and beer garden? Done. Hall of fame museum? PBR cowboy bar? Double done. And after attempting to play off the completion of a 400-space parking lot as a "milestone" unto itself, the three-story building directly north of Busch Stadium would (finally!) present a tangible result of the Cardinal's decade-plus efforts to create a downtown baseball mecca. The plan is for it to be ready by Opening Day 2014.
"It's been such a long and winding road," said Cardinals president William Dewitt III, who predicts that eventually six million visitors will be drawn to the Ballpark Village per year. "Anything that brings that kind of activity downtown, in my view, is incredibly positive for the region," he added.
However, there is little consensus among St. Louisians that the project is a good thing for downtown. Earlier this month Daily RFT spoke with Alderman Scott Ogilvie, who was highly critical of the way tax revenues have been used to subsidize the project's construction.
"It is completely unacceptable that the citizens of St. Louis have been asked to subsidize two themed bars [and a parking lot]," Ogilvie told Daily RFT at the time.