The St. Louis Cardinals are excited to open their newest attraction, Ballpark Village, to the public in the very near future. The details of the dress code that will be enforced at various locations within the new entertainment district across from Busch Stadium, though, have produced a lot of attention recently.
Tom Ley of Deadspin took a hard look at the rules of the new establishment. A dress code that seems to exclude most of the typical fan attire seems a bit strange. At the same time, the dress code is not all-encompassing. It applies to specific locations within the district and only at certain times.
Still, fans seem concerned. The dress code includes the following restrictions:
- no sleeveless shirts for men
- no profanity on clothing
- no exposed undergarments for men
- no sweat pants
- no full sweat suits
- no excessively long shirts*
- no jerseys**
- no athletic shorts
- no excessively sagging pants
- no bandannas
- no hats on the second floor of the Budweiser Brewhouse
- Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult
- All visitors after 9 p.m. must be over 21
* - "Excessively long shirts" are defined as shirts that when standing upright with arms at your side, the bottom of your shirt can not extend below the tip of your fingers
** - Sleeved jerseys are permitted when in conjunction of a Cardinal game or any other major sporting event in St. Louis.
It is easy to see why fans could be concerned. These rules seem strange for a venue that is supported by the traffic a baseball stadium generates. At the same time, fans may be reading too much into the rules.
First of all, the rules laid out here are only actually enforced by eight of the bars and after 9 p.m., according to Deadspin. That means, for the most part, it is a much more relaxed atmosphere during the day and through a typical dinner period.
The rules do not apply "in conjunction with a Cardinal game or any other major sporting event" when it comes to jerseys. If fans are worried about "watch parties" during away games, they shouldn't be. That rule does not say the team has to be playing at home.
And again, the rules apply to eight of the bars. These rules do not appear to be in place at Cardinals Nation or the Cardinals Hall of Fame. These are rules for some of the establishments within the district.
Finally, fans that are upset about this should take note of what the district is trying to accomplish. Not only is this an entertainment district for Cardinals fans, it is also a district aiming for the general population of the downtown area. Ballpark Village aims to be an entertainment district that attracts crowds to the downtown area with the atmosphere that is created by the bars that have already committed to being tenants.
Indeed, Ballpark Village will be a party district. Hence the rules after 9 p.m., when the bars anticipate shifting to the typical night crowd.
It is hard to accuse fans of overreacting to any bit of news surrounding their team. In this instance, maybe they need to look at the rules a little closer before jumping on the bandwagon of how unreasonable this must be.