posted on January 05, 2009 00:00
Pending your time viewing this article, there are approximately 190 days until the nation’s eyes are trained squarely on St. Louis Missouri for the 80th Major League Baseball All-Star game. St. Louis will be hosting this event for the first time since most of us have been alive. If you were alive that sweltering 1966 day chances are you’re not reading this but instead creeping out on the Girl Next Door of the Year photo galleries and you’re wife loathes your very existence. That is, if she’s not busy cheating on you with a real man.
When the 3rd incarnation of Busch Stadium opened in 2006 Alan ‘Bud’ Selig finally saw St. Louis as worthy of the crown jewel on the summer sporting schedule. Strictly in terms of ratings, the World Series may be a bigger draw- but it’s competing with football (college and NFL) basketball and to a lesser extent hockey for attention. The All-Star game and Home Run Derby on the other had are the only event going on those days. Since the game itself is fluff, news outlets that don’t normally give two shits about baseball hop on every human interest story like Pete Wentz at the Johnsonville factory. By proxy, the city gets more time to highlight _________.
In St. Louis’ case Cardinals chairman and principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr. decreed from atop his pile of gold coins that his first born son Bill DeWitt III would handle creating a ‘Ball Park Village’ just beyond left field of the stadium in which baseball revelers and common lay people simultaneously rejoice that St. Louis is once again a destination to see and be seen in. As Jr. wipes the fog from his monocle today and pets his prized Siamese cat he can’t be pleased with the progress his sperm has made.
Ball Park Village was supposed to in full throat by now. Apartments overlooking the stadium. Office space for the movers and shakers. Chain restaurants as far as the eye could see. In short it was supposed to suck, aside from the overpriced and most likely severely overpriced apartment ideas. But it never got the chance to suck because not one thing has been done to the land that once was Busch Stadium 2 since the old stadium was razed. Why? A whole litany of problems have plagued the planning. From Centene pulling an anchor building plan to the credit crunch of 2008, Ball Park Village is shaping up to be one of the most spectacular flops in the history of STL development. No small feat mind you.
190 days out there isn’t much to be done. There will be a giant gaping space right out side the ballpark in July. There will be a singular question you will hate hearing from visitors: “Why don’t they do something with that land right there?” There will be no solid and tangible explanation why something- anything- hasn’t happened on some decent real estate. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get a head start on the mocking. Come with us on an interactive* photo essay of Ball Park Village all from pictures we took this past weekend…
* not really all that interactive, but fun regardless.
For all the pics that I didn't post here, you can go HERE...
Aaron Hooks writes every Monday for InsideSTL and regularly for CardsDiaspora.com