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Ballpark Village Groundbreaking Friday

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - It's been a long time coming but finally, Friday morning, ground was broken for Ballpark Village.

The first phase of the project will bring with it 100,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.  The area will be transformed into what the Cardinals and others hope will be a real centerpiece for Busch and the entire downtown area.

Seats and a stage were set up early for the groundbreaking scheduled to take place at 11:00am Friday.   The first phase will be anchored by developments called "Cardinals Nation, The Budweiser Brew House and Live at Ballpark Village."

Cardinals National will be three levels and 30,000 square feet.  It will feature a two-story restaurant, a Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum and a 300-plus seating deck with views into Busch.

The Budweiser Brew House will be a two-story restaurant and bar that will also have a rooftop viewing deck with views into Busch.  Those two venues will be connected by "Live at Ballpark Village", an indoor marketplace with a retractable canopy.

The Cardinals hope this first phase will be finished by Opening Day 2014. The total Ballpark Village project will eventually span seven blocks and cost $700 million.