ST. LOUIS — Busch Stadium reached a landmark achievement: its 50 millionth fan entered the stadium at Thursday’s home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

The impressive number is the total number of fans since the newest Busch Stadium opened its doors 16 years ago, in April of 2006. The stadium is now the fastest any park has gotten to that number in the country.

“It’s really a major milestone for the fan base. It’s all about them,” said Joe Strohm, vice president of ticket sales.

Strohm said 80% of their games at Busch have had more than 40,000 fans.  

“It’s why we can compete year in and year out for a championship on the field. We are the sixth smallest market in all sports, but we’re able to compete because our fans overdeliver in attendance year in and year out,” Strohm told FOX 2.

For the team and player, the milestone is more than just a number.  

“It’s a sense of security for us when we come home, and we know fans are there for us and are with us all every day. Win or lose, rain or shine, cold or hot — they are all out there for us,” said Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright.

“You can hear the energy and the fan base and hear them get excited the same way we’re excited in the dugout. It’s what makes it worth it,” said head coach Oliver Marmol.

For diehard fans like Lee Irwin, the number is no surprise.  

“I’ve been all over the country, and the Cardinals fans are by far the best fans. I know I’m biased, but it’s the truth,” Irwin said. “St. Louis makes this baseball heaven.”

The Cardinals are now the third team in the MLB to reach this milestone. FOX 2 asked about the next milestone, but the team said there isn’t one — just for fans to continue to come out and keep having a ball.