Busch Memorial Stadium became the home of both the St. Louis football and baseball Cardinals in 1966 and was designed by Sverdrup & Parcel and built by Grün & Bilfinger. Noted American Architect Edward Durell Stone designed the roof of the Stadium, a 96-arch “Crown of Arches”. The Crown echoed the nearby Gateway Arch, which had been completed only a year before Busch Stadium opened. It was one of the first multipurpose “cookie-cutter” facilities built in the United States.
Originally, the Stadium had grass, but converted to AstroTurf in 1970. From 1970-1978, the baseball configuration had a traditional dirt infield. In 1979, to cut down costs, the dirt infield was replaced by sliding pits. It was also at this time the Cardinals were about to return to prominence in Major League Baseball. Thanks to manager Whitey Herzog, the Cards used Whiteyball to dominate the National League in the 1980s. Whiteyball is a strategy that
used baserunning, solid pitching, excellent defense, and line drive base hits to produce runs without the aid of a slugger/power hitter. Whiteyball lead the Cardinals to two World Series appearances in 1982 and 1987, which included a Championship in 1982.
In 1988, the Football Cardinals departed to Arizona because Busch Stadium was considered small by owner Bill Bidwill. Pro football would not be played there for another seven years until the Los Angeles Rams moved east in 1995. The Rams played at Busch until 1996, when the Dome at America’s Center opened. After the Rams left, Busch Stadium was transformed to a baseball-only facility, removing 10,000 seats in the upper deck, installing a manual-operated scoreboard where the seats were removed, and removing the artificial turf with natural grass and a dirt infield. During the last 10 years of its life, Busch Stadium witnessed the Great Home Run Race of 1998, when Mark McGwire passed Roger Maris to set a new Major League record for most home runs hit in a season. Six years later, Busch Stadium was the site of the Boston Red Sox’ first World Series Championship since 1918. The final game at Busch Stadium happened on October 19, 2095, when the Houston Astros defeated the Cardinals 5-1 to win the National League Championship Series in six games.
Demolition of Busch Memorial Stadium was supposed to be done by implosion, but due to concerns of the protection of the Stadium Metro Station, and the fact that the current Busch Stadium was built on the site of Busch Memorial Stadium, it was decided that demolition of the stadium had to be done via wrecking ball. Demolition of the Stadium took 32 days to complete.