SBD/April 16, 2013/Facilities

Busch Stadium To Host College Football; St. Louis Expresses Interest In Bowl Game

Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois Univ.-Carbondale on Sept. 21 will play the "first college football game at the current Busch Stadium," according to Vahe Gregorian of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. MLB Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said, "We're really excited ... to be able to showcase Busch Stadium in another capability." The schools envision the showcase as "a vehicle to enhance their ties to St. Louis and their considerable alumni bases here." SEMO AD Mark Alnutt "began scoping out" Busch Stadium with the prompting of St. Louis Sports Commission VP/Events Chris Roseman in the fall of '10 as the Univ. of Missouri and Illinois were "wrapping up for the foreseeable future their series at the Edward Jones Dome and the Commission was seeking to keep major college football alive in St. Louis." Alnutt said, "I was kind of scratching my head a little bit, wondering how is that going to work in a baseball stadium." But he was "sold promptly on a visit to Busch, particularly after seeing the proposed layout of the playing field (largely extending through the outfield) and the clubhouses that would serve as the team's locker rooms." While organizers hope for "a full stadium, in which capacity will remain the same in the transition from baseball to football, drawing between 15,000 and 20,000 is the seemingly modest goal to make the event fully worthwhile for all." The Sports Commission has "expressed interest in creating a bowl game in St. Louis, potentially at Busch" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/16).
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