St. Louis Cardinals fans will be gathering up on the roof this summer, cheering on their 2013 National League champions.
The Cardinals are one of the most tradition-rich franchises in Major League Baseball, but there is always room for something new, and the Ballpark Village and the AT&T Rooftop are exciting additions for Cardinal Nation.
Ballpark Village had its grand opening to tremendous reviews last week. The approximately 120,000 square-foot, multistory project is visible beyond the center-field wall.
"Ballpark Village is a truly significant development for St. Louis, and the opening of Phase One is another step in the continuing investment the Cardinals have made in downtown St. Louis," said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. "This adds to the aura of Busch Stadium and the great Cardinal teams -- past, present and future."
The first phase of Ballpark Village is anchored by Cardinal Nation, Budweiser Brew House, Fox Sports Midwest Live, PBR St. Louis -- A Cowboy Bar, Howl at the Moon and Drunken Fish. Ballpark Village, which had a concert by Third Eye Blind at its opening, will feature live performance stages, the largest retractable roof of its kind, the biggest indoor TV screen in the Midwest and an outdoor festival space that recreates the infield of the previous Busch Stadium in its exact historic location.
Large crowds came to Ballpark Village for the Third Eye Blind concert and to watch the 1-0 victory over Cincinnati on Monday in the 2014 opener.
"We believe our fans will fall in love with Ballpark Village and all that it has to offer, beyond even game days," said Bill DeWitt, Jr., chairman and CEO of the St. Louis Cardinals. "We anticipate that Cardinals Nation and Ballpark Village will be where the best fans in baseball will come to play all year-round."
Tickets for the AT&T Rooftop went on sale last week, and so far, so good according to Dan Farrell, senior vice president, sales and marketing.
"It has been great so far," Farrell said. "We have already sold out 25-30 percent of our full season inventory."
And that is before any word of mouth about the double-decked facility which overlooks left field.
"This will really appeal to Cardinals fans who want to try something a little different," Farrell said. "I think that they will find out that it is a fun place to watch a game, and it will provide a unique view and a different experience."
There are seats for 100 in the covered lower deck and 230 in the open upper deck. Tickets are reserved with a designated seat assignment, and the seats offer a clean sightline into Busch Stadium.
"It will provide as good a view as you would have in the upper deck in the stadium," Farrell said. "There might be an area at the corner of the warning track that might not be visible, but that is it."
The AT&T Rooftop provides a club-type atmosphere with an indoor seating area as well as the reserved outside seating.
"It is very similar to our UMB Champions Club, which is one of our most popular areas," Farrell said. "People can come in and cool off, warm up or dry off."
The tickets are all inclusive and will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet and open bar. Farrell said that the buffet will be upscale.
"It will obviously feature the typical ballpark food such as hot dogs, brats and nachos," he said. "But there will also be pasta, carving stations, an assortment of vegetables and salads as well as several desserts. It is designed to be an upscale dining experience to go along with the game."
There are other perks for the AT&T Rooftop ticket holders. They will be given wristbands when they enter the area which will give them free access to the Hall of Fame and Museum, which will have its grand opening on Monday, the home opener for the Cardinals against Cincinnati. The regular price for the Hall of Fame and Museum will be $12 for adults and $8 for children.
All ticket holders are also guaranteed the promotional item that will be offered for that game. The Cardinals are known for their quality giveaways, and all AT&T Rooftop tickets will include that item even if they are limited to a certain amount per game.
Dynamic pricing will be used for the AT&T Rooftop. For example, tickets for Opening Day are $175, and a few remained as of mid-week.
The next two games against the Reds, on Tuesday and Wednesday, sold for $75 and are sold out.
"We have such smart fans and they know a good deal when they see one," Farrell said. "There will be more games which will be in the $75 range and about an equal amount in the $150-$200 range. I would expect that the average price is going to be around $100-$120."
The ticket sales have been brisk in the first week and are sure to be a hot item after the word of mouth, and after a game is telecast from there by Fox Sports Midwest in May.
But Farrell said that plenty of good tickets remain for the vast majority of the regular-season games.
"We have [instances] in which groups have bought out all of the seats, but that is just for a couple of games," he said.
Farrell suggested checking the Cardinals website for information and tickets for the AT&T Rooftop for the 2014 regular season.
"I think the fans are going to love it," he said. "It really provides a unique experience."
Bill Hester is a contributor to MLB.com.