Report: Cardinals ownership preparing public funding request for Busch Stadium

Bill DeWitt III is "gearing up" for a request of public funding in the hundreds of millions range.
Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three
Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three / Michael Thomas/GettyImages

St. Louis Cardinals fans may soon be on the hook for funding improvements to Busch Stadium.

The DeWitt family will be joining other owners in a request for massive public funding to maintain the baseball stadium that they own. Reporting from the Riverfront Times has stated that the family is "gearing up" for more public funding to maintain Busch Stadium. This is not an immediate venture; rather, the funding and projects will begin within the next half-decade.

While a specific proposal hasn't been published yet and direct quotes from the owners aren't included, the River City Journalism Fund was able to provide rough details on the project.

"The Cardinals owners hope to make significant renovations to Busch Stadium in the next five years — and will likely seek public funding for the project, which they say is necessary to keep the stadium viable."

Eric Berger

Within the last two weeks, the Cardinals' cross-state rivals, the Kansas City Royals, had public funding declined via a public vote. In the case of team owner John Sherman's master plan, the Royals pledged $1 billion of ownership money to help fund a $2 million project. It isn't likely that Busch Stadium will require quite that significant amount of public funding, it is still a fair chunk of change that the DeWitts are asking for.

According to Riverfront Times, DeWitt III has stated that the cost of updates and renovations would likely fall between projects completed in Milwaukee and Baltimore recently. Those projects cost taxpayers $500 and $600 million, respectively.

Busch Stadium is nearing its 20th anniversary, so it is likely that the renovations will be more structural than aesthetic. Pipes, wires, and other sub-level needs are possibly needing updates. Additionally, according to Jeff Jones of Belleville News, purchasing parking lots and garages nearby could be a part of this project.

For an ownership group that is the 7th wealthiest among MLB owners, asking taxpayers to foot a large portion of the bill for renovations won't go over so well with the fanbase and taxpayers. After failing to invest heavily in a weak division these past two years, asking the taxpayers for financial assistance will be met with disdain.

Stay tuned to Redbird Rants for more updates regarding this fluid situation.