UPDATED: What You Should Know About Opening Day in St. Louis 2021

Note:  The Cardinals just announced $8 to Cards vs. Nats  April 12-14.  In addition, 10,000 fans entering with a ticket on each date will receive an exclusive Adult Cardinals Puffy Vest presented by Bayer. Limited number of these specially-priced $8 tickets –while supplies last.  Eight per customer.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/eight.

What You Should Know About Opening Day– Updated as we get more information

On Thursday there will be baseball at Busch Stadium and in a new twist from last year—there will be fans. Busch Stadium will welcome up to 32% capacity beginning with the home opener.  Adam Wainwright gets the honor of starting. Rob Rains has more regarding the game elsewhere on STLSSportsPage.com.

the Cardinals announced there will be a pregame ceremony that welcomes home the 2021 Cardinals, honors the club’s Hall of Famers and commemorates the great tradition of Opening Day in St. Louis will highlight the annual return of baseball to St. Louis on Thursday, April 8. Scroll down for the schedule.

Day of the Game

The Cardinals and others are working hard to provide a special Opening Day Experience, but unfortunately it may look a little different this year due to the pandemic.

Pre-Game Traditional Festivities- No Pep rallies this year

FOX 2 Pep-Rally- —Each year FOX 2 and KPLR have a big pep rally but this year, according to Laura Bond, Promotions & Events Manager for FOX 2 KTVI & KPLR 11 there will be “no rallies permitted this year downtown., so FOX 2 and News 11 are getting into the baseball spirit by inviting our viewers to upload their baseball photos to celebrate the Home Opener using the hash tag #MyHomeOpener,” said Bond.  “Photos submitted could be shown on our newscasts.” For more information CLICK HERE Be sure to use the #MyHomeOpener on social media and tag @FOX2Now and/or @kplr11″

KMOX Radio Usually has Kegs & Eggs but this year they combined for a game box with Sugarfire. Fans were invited to order the party packs and enjoy them at home. (As of Thurs. morn. It’s too late to order)


Opening Day Inside the Ballpark:

 The Cardinals will open their 2021 home slate against the Milwaukee Brewers at 3:15 PM CT.  A pregame schedule and information can be found below and at cardinals.com/OpeningDay to help fans enjoy the unofficial holiday that is #OpeningDaySTL:

Pregame Schedule

12:00 – 12:50 PM             Cardinals batting practice (subject to change)

12:55 – 1:50 PM               Brewers batting practice (subject to change) 

1:00 PM                               Gates Open with 2021 Cardinals Magnet Schedule give-away: All fans, ages 21 and older, will receive a magnet featuring the 2021 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser.

2:30 PM                               Pregame ceremonies begin with an appearance by the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

2:33 PM                               Lou Brock & Bob Gibson tribute.

2:35 PM                               Introduction of Cardinals Hall of Famers to centerfield batter’s eye.

2:38 PM                               Salute to Mike Shannon from KMOX radio booth.

2:40 PM                               Introduction of Cardinals Chairman and CEO, Bill DeWitt Jr. at home plate. 

2:41 PM                               Introduction of the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals via Ford motorcade. The players will ride in 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat trucks.

2:53 PM                               Introduction of the Milwaukee Brewers.

2:57 PM                               Moment of silence

2:58 PM                               National Anthem performed from centerfield batter’s eye by Dr. Shephali Wulff, an infectious disease specialist with SSM Health in St. Louis.

3:00 PM                               Cardinals Opening Day video

3:02 PM                               Ceremonial First Pitch by Cardinals Hall of Fame 3B Scott Rolen to current Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado

3:15 PM                               First Pitch

Television Coverage

An extended edition of Cardinals Live pregame begins at 1:30 PM on Bally Sports Midwest and will include live coverage of the pregame ceremonies inside Busch Stadium.  Dan McLaughlin and Brad Thompson will call the game, with Jim Hayes and Scott Warmann serving as reporters.  Erica Weston and Rick Horton will host from the network’s Ballpark Village studio.

Radio Coverage

Fans can tune into KMOX 1120 AM98.7 FM, or one of the 145 stations in the Cardinals Radio Network to hear Mike Shannon and John Rooney call the game.  The Ameren Total Access Show starts at 1:40 PM and will include live coverage of the pregame ceremonies inside Busch Stadium.

Fans can tune in locally to WIJR 880 AM “La Tremenda” to hear Cardinals Spanish broadcasters Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina call the home opener as well.

Concessions:

“Unfortunately we are not allowed to have vendors in the seats just yet, but we have set up kiosks, what we used to call portables, along the concourse,” says Chef Norman Taylor. “Most of these will be beverage only to help move the line through quickly.”

There has been a lot of uncertainty about how purchases can be made in the stadium. It will be cashless, but Busch Stadium is accepting credit cards and debit cards.

“All credit and debit cards can be used throughout the stadium,” said Taylor “For those who have cash, please visit one of our markets and you can purchase the gift cards there. Markets are located in section 153, 450, and Gate Five by the right field flag pole.”

Each year Taylor likes showing off his new creations for the year to the media. Things are different this year and he says they want to wait and see how everything goes. Once they get a few home games going, he is hoping to roll out at least one of the new items by mid-May.

“My main focus right now is to insure everyone in Cardinals nation has a safe and enjoyable experience here at baseball heaven,” he said. “We all miss being here so once we get this ‘new normal’ under our belts, we can start enjoying some great new products as we cheer on our Cardinals.”

All fans who are over 21 and lucky enough to be in the ballpark for the Home Opener will receive Magnet Schedules.

This And That

* The Cardinals look to make it 14 consecutive winning seasons, and fans are excited to welcome Nolan Arenado to Busch Stadium.

* The Cardinals reached the 85% threshold in vaccinating members of the traveling party, which will let them loosen some of the COVID protocols among the players and top tiered players and team personnel. This involves restrictions regarding going out to a restaurant and other things.

* John Ulett starts his 39th season with the Cardinals  

John Ulett is the stadium announcer and also stars as “Professor U-Man”—with the “PU” on his lab coat. The show is a big hit on Saturday mornings.

It’s a local Saint Louis television show starring Fredbird, former Cardinals pitcher, and member of the 2006 World Series Championship team, Brad Thompson and Ulett.  2021 Cardinals Kids episodes air Saturday mornings at 11am CT on Bally Sports Midwest. For more info: CLICK HERE 

* What does Jack Flaherty have in common with Carrie Underwood, James Harden, Mike Trout and Megan Rapinoe? They have all signed on to represent BODYAROR sports drink. BODYARMOR debuted a national campaign with its newly launched caffeinated sports drink EDGE.

* How would you like to get a call from  a major league ballplayer— or a movie star for that matter? Several members of the Cardinals are on the website Cameo.

Adam Wainwright joins a growing number of celebrities who are listed on Cameo. You pay a fee and they will call you or whoever you wish. “Proceeds from bookings will go to my charity Big League Impact,” Wainwright says.  To find out more: CLICK HERE.

* Tommy Edman is also supporting Big League Impact on Cameo and to find out about that: CLICK HERE.

Harrison Bader  (CLICK HERE for Bader)  and Lane Thomas (CLICK HERE for Thomas) are the other current players listed on Cameo and it was not clear if they are donating their proceeds to charity or not but if you want to schedule a conversation or private message with them or any of the others on Cameo– check out Cameo.

Others from the Cardinals family include Ozzie Smith, John Ulett, Stubby Clapp and Willie McGee.

* Players will again have freedom to express themselves and showcase their personalities by incorporating creative designs on their cleats.  Cleat designs expanded last year and will continue to allow messages, illustrations, and any colors.

*The Cardinals have put their name on an alcoholic drink. This week, Cutwater Spirits   welcomed the return of baseball by introducing new co-branded canned cocktails. The “Cardinals Vodka Mule” promises to be “a mule with a kick.” The brand’s mule has the taste of ginger,  a splash of bitters, and a hint of lime.  Their website says, “We mix in our exceptionally smooth award-winning Cutwater Vodka and the party really gets started.” The Cardinals Vodka Mules will be available in the stadium.

 

 

 

Hopefully, Opening Day in St. Louis will have better weather than the road opener in Cincinnati where John Mozeliak is shown, left in his heavy winter coat. As of Thursday morning– the weather at 3 p.m. this afternoon is predicted to be: 55 degrees, cloudy and only a 15% chance of rain — weather.com.

St. Louisans look at the Cardinals home opener as an unofficial holiday. There are still a lot questions as to how much “Opening Day” fanfare will there be, but on Tuesday the Cardinals gave out a little more information (scroll down). Anheuser-Busch tweeted: “Baseball + Clydesdales… back together again!”  and the Cardinals included them in their pre-game information, so it looks like the Clydesdales will play a part in Opening Day but it is still to be determine if they will be inside or staged somewhere else.

There will be the parade of players as they have every year where the St. Louis Ford Dealers showcase their trucks — this year the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat.

In the off-season the Cardinals worked on a plan developed in partnership with Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office & the St. Louis City Health Department and they hope the plan will ensure health and safety for all.

“We’ve all missed the fans at the ballpark and are confident that all fans will adhere to these policies for an outstanding game day experience.” said Matt Gifford, Vice President of Stadium Operations.

the Stadium chef,  Chef Norman Taylor says that despite the COVID-19 restrictions with the concessions –the regular ballpark food will be there.

“What would Cardinals baseball be without hot dogs and nachos?!” said Chef. “Yes Hots, brats, peanuts, popcorn, burgers, and of course nachos!. The Home Plate nachos will be available in section 152, 251, and at our redesigned 133 stand” (Scroll down for more about the concessions.)

Though there will be fans in attendance, the Home Opener will go off with a lot less fanfare than in the past.  Each year STLSportsPage.com compiles a list of the pep rallies and fun promotions happening in conjunction with Opening Day—which is always a holiday in St. Louis. Listed below is the latest information we have about the festivities of Opening Day.

The Night Before the Home Opener:

Rob Rains’ Virtual Pep Rally. -Hope you enjoyed it.

STLSportsPage.com will be having a “Virtual Pep Rally” hosted by Rob Rains Wednesday night. . Fans are invited to email: STLSportsPage@gmail.com to get the Zoom link. Stadium announcer John Ulett will join Rains along with other surprises.

 

Safety Precautions at Busch

There are a lot of precautions being put into place for the safety of all involved. One thing is no purses or bags—read the information carefully—no clear bags this year to save the stadium employees at the entrances from touching inside to search them.

There are also specific entrances you must go in, which are determined by your seat number and cash and credit cards will not be handled by concession stand employees or the Team Store. It is all being done through a Cardinals app.

“Busch Stadium’s vast open-air footprint, six entry gates and wide concourses gives us the ability to create the safest environment possible for guests to root on the Cardinals this year,” said Matt Gifford.

The Cardinals upgraded Busch Stadium’s HVAC systems by replacing filters in the ballpark to ensure cleaner air in any enclosed spaces. Electrostatic sprayers and EPA registered disinfectants will continue to be utilized to disinfect rooms and surfaces throughout the ballpark.

Social distancing and proper hygiene will be enforced and encouraged by staff throughout the ballpark. The organization will continuously evaluate all guidelines, seek guidance from local and Major League Baseball health experts, and adjust policies or protocols as necessary.

Here are some of the policies and protocols that will be in place to ensure the health and safety of fans, employees, and players in 2021:

  • Socially-distanced seating: Guests will be seated in pods of four or less with a minimum distance of 6-feet between seating pods in all directions.
  • Masks required: Masks will be required at all times in all areas of the stadium, including the seating bowl, unless guests are actively eating and drinking in their ticketed seats.
  • The ticket offices are open  from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday when team is away, and 10 a.m. to 2 hours after scheduled game time when the team is home.
  • You  can also buy tickets is online. They will have Mobile-only ticketing: All game tickets will be delivered via the MLB Ballpark app, ensuring a touchless entry into the ballpark.
  • Cashless transactions: Concession stands, kiosks and other retail transactions made in the stadium will be cashless and only offer credit and debit payment options. Debit cards will be available for purchase using cash with no service fees at a limited number of locations inside the stadium.
  • Designated entry gates: Guests will be directed to enter and exit the stadium through one of six designated entry gates to expedite the process and limit crowding at any one entrance. A designated entry gate will be noted on each ticket. Guests will not be permitted to exit and re-enter the stadium.
  • Bags not permitted: To reduce contamination and ensure touchless entry, bags will not be permitted to be brought into Busch Stadium, except for medical or diaper bags.
  • Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer dispensers will be widely available throughout the ballpark.
  • Staff health screenings: All full-time employees and event staff will be subject to health and temperature screenings before entering the stadium.

Additional changes will be implemented to ticketing, concessions and retail operations to further reduce touch points among staff and guests.

Fans can view the full list of Busch Stadium policies and protocols for the start of the 2021 season at cardinals.com/backatbusch.

Info on Ballpark Village:

Beginning on April 8, 2021, Ballpark Village will have spaces open in the follow areas: (more info at end of this article)

  • Fox Sports Midwest Live! (reservations required)
  • Sports & Social
  • Cardinals Nation
  • The Bullock at Live! by Loews
  • The Together Credit Union Plaza
  • Budweiser Brew House Rooftop Bud Deck (reservations required) 

Officials at Ballpark Village have implemented several changes to keep guests and employees safe, including requiring masks when not eating or drinking, spacing out tables and reducing capacity.

In pre-COVID-19 times, Ballpark Village would be packed with fans cheering on the Cardinals. Since that can’t safely happen yet, organizers have launched a reservation system to fill seats during peak game times.

Venues requiring reservations/ticketing:

Budweiser Brew House Rooftop Bud Deck

The rooftop deck across the street from Busch offers direct views into the ballpark. Ballpark Village will offer 100 seated tickets for each game leading up to the All-Star Break. Tickets will be sold in groups of two or four only. Packages range from $20-120 per person, based on the opposing team, day of the week and ticket package options. Fans can buy all-inclusive packages or a seat-only ticket with optional upgrades.

FOX Sports Midwest Live!

The venue inside Ballpark Village features a huge 40-foot LED wall of TV screens. Opening Day reservations will be for either the pregame session (noon-2 p.m.) or game time session (2:30 p.m.-end of the game). Tickets will be sold as tables of two-10 people at $40 a seat. The fee will serve as a food and beverage credit for each guest toward their bill for the day.


Cards Hall of Fame Open This Week

The St. Louis Cardinals announced that the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation at Ballpark Village, re-opened today to fans and visitors with enhanced sanitization and timed-ticket purchasing options to ensure the wellness of guests and staff.  The Cardinals Museum will be open daily from 10 AM-6 PM and will remain open through the seventh inning during home night games.

The Cardinals Museum also debuts its new featured exhibit entitled “2011 Cardinals: What A Team! What A Ride!”, covering everything from the team’s magical 2011 season including happy flights, the “Memphis Mafia”, the Wild Card race, the Rally Squirrel and the dramatic World Series against the Texas Rangers.

The exhibit features over 50 pieces of memorabilia from the museum’s collection as well as loans from former players and collectors, including:

  • St. Louis-native David Freese’s game-worn home jersey from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, which was torn into two pieces after his walk-off home run—reunited for the first time since that night 10 years ago.
  • Chris Carpenter’s game-worn home jersey and glove from his memorable dive into first base during Game 1 of the 2011 World Series.
  • Jason Motte’s game-worn glove, cap and cleats used to close out Game 7 of the 2011 World Series.
  • Freese’s World Series and NLCS MVP awards.

This featured exhibit will be open to the public through February 2022 and is included with admission to the Cardinals Museum.  Fans can purchase Cardinals Museum tickets online at cardinals.com/museum.

 

 

About stlsportspage 1211 Articles
For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.