SBD/March 27, 2014/Facilities

MLB Cardinals Receiving Backlash For Instituting Dress Code At Ballpark Village

Cardinals execs took pains to note the dress code was not a complex-wide policy
Ballpark Village project managers and MLB Cardinals execs yesterday "sought to clarify" a new dress code policy that has "attracted early concerns," according to David Hunn of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Ballpark Village GM & COO Jim Watry said, "Our intention is to be family-friendly." The Cardinals "took pains" yesterday to note that the dress code "was not a complex-wide policy," and that the Cardinals Nation restaurant the team owns will "simply ask visitors to keep out obscene or indecent clothing." Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said, "You don't want people in bare feet and no shirts. It's not a good look. That's not a visitor these clubs are looking to attract." The Cardinals and Ballpark Village developer Cordish Cos. put out a joint statement "insisting that such dress codes are commonplace, recommended by 'police and alcohol boards across the country.'" The statement added that guests who "are not allowed in because of dress code violations ... will get a refund on any parking fees and a free valet voucher for a future visit." The dress code and conduct policies "will be enforced by a minority-owned firm." DeWitt said, "There's this implication it's a racist thing. And it's not." Meanwhile, Watry noted that children with adult supervision are "welcome to come" to Ballpark Village during the day and they "won't be kicked out once the clock strikes" 9:00pm CT (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/27). Hunn notes some of the "many items banned" from Ballpark Village after 9:00pm include "sleeveless shirts for men," athletics shorts, "sweat suits, team jerseys (unless it's game day, of course) -- and children." No one "under the age of 21 can enter" after 9:00pm (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/27). YAHOO SPORTS' David Brown wrote the policies "make zero sense." Brown: "Why don't they just ban the American flag while we're at it?" It is "certainly not baseball" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/26).
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