St. Louis Cardinals president talks baseball, Ballpark Village with UMSL crowd

Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals

Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, talked to a UMSL College of Business Administration crowd during the college’s Business and Breakfast event. (Photo by August Jennewein)

With a little more than 30 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the 2014 baseball season is just around the corner. However, business doesn’t slow down in the offseason for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bill DeWitt III, president of the St. Louis Cardinals, talked to a crowd of more than 50 visitors from the University of Missouri–St. Louis Thursday morning inside the offices at Busch Stadium about the baseball club and plans for Ballpark Village.

The discussion was part of the monthly Breakfast & Business Series by the College of Business Administration at UMSL and facilitated by alumnus Rex Carter, BSBA accounting 1989, director of finance with the St. Louis Cardinals.

DeWitt reiterated what St. Louisans already know – Cardinal fans are the best in baseball.

“We have an incredible fan base which completely overachieves for our marketplace,” he said. “We are a top-five-attendance team every year, usually about 3 million a year, and because of that we are a top-five-revenue team – excluding television.”

DeWitt said that Ballpark Village, a 10-acre site across Clark Street from the stadium, is something he’s been talking about for five or more years and now it’s finally becoming a reality.

Although the current plans only include retail, dining and entertainment, DeWitt said the space would make a great location for offices, a hotel or even a residential complex.

“We still very much want this to be a mixed-use village,” DeWitt said.

One of the main anchors planned for the village is Cardinals Nation, a two-story restaurant and 1,000-square-foot retail store.

“We are planning over 200 events a year outside of the game-day actives,” DeWitt said. “We are going to obviously have it activated during a game day, but when there is no game, that’s when we are really going to add life to it.”

In addition to the retail and dining areas, there will be a large stage, ticketed seating to view games, a Fox Sports Midwest studio and a hall of fame museum.

“We don’t have a Cardinals hall of fame right now. More than half the major league teams have one and what team deserves it more than the Cardinals,” he asked.

DeWitt said all the players who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame will be included, but this will give the organization their own opportunity to honor those other great players who have been a part of the club.

Media Coverage:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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