Busch Stadium Gearing Up For Opening Day

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The buzz is back at Busch. With the Cardinals` home opener less than two weeks away, work is beginning to get the stadium ready to play ball.

But this year is bringing some special challenges. The unyielding grip of winter is making it difficult for groundskeepers to get a grip on their turf.

"In the 18 years I`ve been here, this is the coldest March I have ever dealt with," said head groundskeeper Bill Findley. "I am used to dealing with extremes in St. Louis but the snow didn`t help us trying to get the field ready for opening day."

Once the sun finally comes out and stays out, the field should look a lot better because the sod is new, replaced because of last summer`s scorching temperatures.

There have been other improvements including 150 more flat screen TVs.

They are also adding glass to a few areas that had been open to the weather.

As for the season itself, it will include several tributes to Stan Musial.  Players will wear a special Musial patch on their sleeves,  and at the game on Friday, April 12, there will be special ceremonies remembering the greatest player in the history of the team.

One other tribute can be found in the opening day program, which includes a series of articles about Musial. Also, before the opening day game, the Harmonica Club of St. Louis will play the national anthem. Musial was an honorary member of the club.

The most noticeable changes this season are not in the stadium itself but next to it because of construction at Ballpark Village.

"The pedestrian bridge which used to go to the west garage is no longer there, the Bowling Hall of Game is now totally demolished, the old Stadium Plaza street that used to run along the old ball park which people used to walk from Shannon`s and Market street is now gone," said VP of Stadium Operations Joe Abernathy.

But for fans,  it`s all about the team.

"It comes along with spring," said fan Mike Fitts. "It invigorates you and I am excited about it. I am a Cardinals fan and always will be."

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