Cardinals upgrading Busch Stadium; are Cubs to thank?

In the desire to enhance the game-day experience for their fans — and one-up the Chicago Cubs — the St. Louis Cardinals are working on upgrading Busch Stadium in time for the 2016 season.

Already gone are the outdated scoreboards in center field, soon-to-be replaced with new two HD LED video boards in the space. The old scoreboard was not HD compatible and was pair with amber light boards. 

With the changes, the new video board will be nearly three times larger than its predecessor with twice the resolution and brightness of the old board. The out-of-town scoreboard will be significantly larger as well with same HD quality as the other new screen. 

"We’ll be right up there with the best of them now," Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operations told MLB.com. "It’s amazing how technology has evolved in 10 short years. Technology has progressed considerably since we put this in back in April 2006."

While it might be the time for an upgrade anyway to the 10-year-old ballpark, it is curious the Cardinals sought to change the stadium so soon after the improvements to Wrigley Field, home of the rival Chicago Cubs, were unveiled. Abernathy states that it is no coincidence. 

"We did get upset actually when the Cubs had a better video board than us. Especially with how it ended [in the National League Division Series] and all they’re doing now," he said. "We don’t want to be sitting behind the Cubs in anything."

Along with the $8 million upgrade, the Cardinals’ home will be fitted with new ribbon boards down the foul lines as well as all new equipment in the control room. Some suites and lower-level seats are getting a facelift as well. A new Wi-Fi system is being installed capable of handling game-day traffic.

"This will be a full-blown Wi-Fi that will enhance the Wi-Fi signal throughout the ballpark that will help our fans take better advantage of the many apps and other opportunities there are out there to follow the game through their mobile devices," Abernathy said.

The ‘new’ Busch Stadium is the third version of the ballpark and was built in time for the opening of the 2006 season. It replaced the cavernous Busch Stadium II that was across the street from the new location. The team played there from 1966 to 2005.

Is it better than Wrigley Field? Sure, Wrigley has the history, but the sea of Cardinal red at Busch is always a sight to see. Which home field is better? That’s for fans to decide. 

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