Busch Stadium Guide – Where to Park, Eat, and Get Cheap Tickets

The Cardinals opened Busch Stadium III in 2006 and christened it with a World Series Championship. I still contend that they were one of the worst World Series Champions in modern history, but hey; it shows what can happen if you get hot at the right time.

This page isn't about ripping the Cardinals, but sharing some advice for saving money at the ballpark in St. Louis. The Busch Stadium page will provide you the basic information. The Cardinals are known for having devoted and knowledgeable fans, so it makes for a great baseball atmosphere.

cheap or free parking at busch stadium

Downtown St. Louis can provide some parking problems, and when going to Busch Stadium you should keep safety in mind. As in many urban areas, St. Louis has some rough spots where, according to his song "St. Louie", you may just bump into my friend Nelly.

The main thing is just to use common sense, don't park somewhere if you feel like an armored vehicle would be useful - its not worth saving $5. That being said, you can find free parking near Busch Stadium via metered parking. 

Most meters are in effect Monday through Saturday until 7pm. What that means is you will probably need to arrive early and then feed the meter until 7 pm; at which point you are home free. Here is the official rules for metered parking, according to the po po "Parking meters are in operation Monday through Saturday from 8am to 7pm. Parking at all meters is free on Sundays and City Holidays." If you are wondering, this policy did change in 2013. It used to be where you could find meters on Saturday without having to pay, but that is no longer the case. Here is more parking information from the parking authority website itself. One interesting note from this website is that a parking fine is only $15, which isn't a bad deal compared to some parking prices! Use your best judgment, but it is something to think about…

There is an area a few blocks south of the stadium where you might be able to find free street parking. Check out Chouteau Street between 1st and 2nd St. As always, pay attention to the street signs for clarification, but certainly worth a gander if you’re headed to the game on a budget.

A little different way to find free parking at Busch Stadium is to visit various bars that offer free parking and a free shuttle to and from the game. This has big time advantages because you can meet up with friends, eat/drink there (for cheaper than Busch Stadium), and then ride together without the stress of driving and finding a spot. Here are 2 places to check out:

Big Daddy's Soulard - Big Daddy lets you ride the shuttle to Busch Stadium for free. Click here for more information and details on the location of Big Daddy's Soulard.

Llywelyn's Pub - Another Irish Pub that offers a free trolley to the game. It takes off an hour before the game, and the schedule is available here.

Some people will tell you about the taking the Metrolink to the Cardinal's game, but while it’s an affordable option, it may not be too smart.

The problem is after the game the station is typically packed out and it's tough to get on a train. The benefits are that you can usually park for free outside of the city at a station, and then you pay about $5 per person roundtrip to take the train to and from the game.

If it were me, I would take my chances arriving as early as I could and do some laps through downtown looking for metered parking. You can easily wait 20 minutes to get on a train after the game, which is a lot of wasted time.

I guess it’s up to you to put a balance on time vs. money, but if you are going with several people to the game - splitting parking fees (if any) will probably be cheaper too.

If you’re intent on driving to the game and parking at a garage or lot within walking distance of the stadium, it’s best to be informed. A small amount of research can go a long way towards making to sure you know exactly where the best garages are, and what they’re going to be charging you.

Generally speaking the best deal that you’re going to find is a $10 spot at a business rents out their lot during games. Two that come to mind are Midas Mufflers at 720 South 4th Street and 630 Distillery at 1000 South 4th Street. I’m sure more could be found by scanning the area.

If you’re looking for the most convenient parking option possible and willing to pay for it, a spot at the Ballpark Village is the move. A spot here runs closer to the $30 range. Ballpark Village is a huge family friendly entertainment complex built on the grounds of the old Busch Stadium. Might be worth budgeting some time to check it out.

The parking garages at Stadium East and West are located just a quick 2 block walk from the stadium and run $15-$20, depending on the game. You can also reserve a guaranteed spot in these garages ahead of time for a premium cost of $22.50 total through a service called Parking Panda. That might be valuable for some who want to make sure that there are no hitches in their plans, especially if you’ve got young kids in tow.

Parking Panda is a convenient way to do parking for Cardinals games. You can hop on their website and view a number of different parking options in the area. You can compare prices against location, select an option that works for you, and pay for a guaranteed spot ahead of time. They’ll email you the parking pass and a spot will be waiting for you. Check it out here or view their options below:

best value cardinals' tickets

The Cardinals offer some pretty aggressive discounts on tickets, which is great news for fans on a budget. I think if you are truly in search of good value tickets at Busch Stadium, the key is flexibility. For instance; Sundays shape up to be a great time to go to a Cardinals game.

First of all, metered parking is free in the city - and most Sundays have a promotion where fans in Terrace and Pavilion reserved get a free hot dog and a pop. So you can find free parking, buy a ticket for $16 - $20 and get a small lunch with it, plus the Cardinals offer discounted kids. That totals up to a day at the ballpark including lunch for about Thirty bucks - incredible deal.

You could do the same thing on a Tuesday night and easily pay double that amount, because there is no particular promotion. So my point is, the Cardinals provide the options and if you are a savvy fan who goes to 5 - 10 games per year, you can really plan it out and save a ton of money.

Another cool thing the Cardinals currently offer is a KMOX first pitch ticket. Every game day, they release 550 random tickets (player returns, unused) for about $12 each. They go for sale at 9 AM on gameday at gate 3, near Clark. Then, about 15 minutes before the game, you show up at gate 5 with your ID and voucher, and they give you your 2 tickets. So people aren't profiting from this, they make you walk right in, so be ready for that. Another very cool idea and a way to get cheap Cardinals tickets.

Most people don't really plan ahead, and they end up paying top dollar for everything - which is stupid if you ask me. In fact I give the Cardinals a Ballpark Savvy Blue Ribbon for their ticket promotions. You might expect this from a crappy team, but the Cardinals are perennial winners and they give plenty of chances for everyone to make it out to some games. Click here for the current list of promotions.

Another great place to buy tickets is from Score Big. Let's face it, most ticket broker sites are the same but this one is actually different. It is kind of like the Priceline of sports tickets. Essentially you can search events in your area, and make an offer on tickets and get an instant answer on whether your bid is accepted.

You can select a quantity, and then it gives you different tiers. It gives you an approximate discount percentage, and shows on the seat map which sections your tickets could possibly be in.

Next you enter in a price, again it gives you an idea how how likely that is to be accepted. I made the comparison to Priceline, and it is true, you have to put in payment details prior to making an official offer. But if you are going to the game, what a great way to save money on tickets!

In 2011, the Cards introduced the concept of dynamic pricing; which I like. Basically their computer system tracks demand of tickets, match-ups, opponents, etc. to determine the price of tickets on a daily basis. I think it makes a lot of sense, and they will offer tickets for as low as $5 when demand is low for a certain game. My prediction is that the concept will catch on and move around the league. Learn more here.

I think the Cardinals regular seating is a little pricey for my taste, but I see a great value in sections 441, 442, and 445. These sections are labeled as Outfield Reserved seats, but they are actually more like infield reserved seats. In fact, they are right above the infield terrace box seats which are about double the price. I think if you are going cheap seats, these are your best value tickets at Busch Stadium. Kids 12 and under are also able to get $7 seats in that same section.

Stubhub is the official marketplace for MLB tickets, and they protect you against fraudulent tickets. If you want to buy on Stubhub, you are usually better off if you can wait until close to game time. For baseball, you usually print your tickets at home after you buy. This means you can often buy tickets up until a couple hours before game time.

From the seller perspective, Stubhub encourages sellers to reduce their price incrementally as the event gets closer so they aren't stuck with the tickets. So when you are looking at a game that starts in just a few hours, it is likely you are going to find some great value.

food at busch stadium

Busch Stadium gives fans another opportunity to save money by allowing you to bring in soft sided coolers with plastic bottles of water or pop, and also any type of food. While the ballpark concession prices at Busch Stadium are ridiculous as usual - once again you are not a captive audience; so take advantage!

Another option that I consistently recommend is Restaurant.com Here you can buy $25 gift certificates to local restaurants for $10. You can also do a google search for "Restaurant.com coupon codes" and almost always get an extra 60 - 80% off that.

I often buy these $25 certificates for $2. That is the best way to eat a decent meal before or after the game and save a chunk of change. When you follow the link, just type in the zip code of Busch Stadium (63101) to see what restaurants are nearby (there are plenty).

free stuff at busch stadium

  1. The Cardinals, Anheuser-Busch, SportService, and T.E.A.M. Coalition have teamed up to implement the Budweiser Good Sport Designated Driver Program. Guests may sign up at kiosks next to Guest Relations on Level 1 to be a designated driver for the game and receive a free key chain (for the first 40 guests only) and a free soda or O'Doul's. Designated Drivers may also be eligible for prizes and recognition on the message board. You must be 21 years or older and have a valid driver's license to participate.
  2. The U.S. Cellular Family Pavilion is open 2 hours prior to each game and continues operation until one-half hour after the game. All guests with a day-of-game ticket are admitted to this area free of charge. However, there is a fee to participate in some of the games and activities.
  3. Kids 3 and under are free, assuming they can sit on your lap.
Jake Cain

A Cincinnati native, lifelong Reds fan, father of 3 boys and husband of one wife. Doing what I can to make your next ballpark trip more fun and affordable.