Getting ready

BuschstadiumThe stadium usher, or working any other job that involves managing the fans, has one of those jobs that everyone thinks is totally cushy. "You get paid to stand here, and you see all the games." Of course, there’s always more to it than that. Before each playoff game at Busch Stadium, instructions are given over the loudspeaker during the Cardinals’ batting-practice session. Wednesday could be a special night, with special concerns. Here’s what they’re watching:

  • Fans have called all day wondering if they can get in after the seventh inning. There is a St. Louis Blues hockey game, so they’re thinking baseball-hockey doubleheader. But with the stands expected to be packed, the gates will not be opened.
  • Some fans could have the compulsion to get that special memory by running onto the field. Not only will it get them arrested, but ushers and security are keeping a special watch.
  • If the Cardinals lose — the lead usher said it won’t happen — all employees have to remain in place while a video tribute to Busch Stadium is shown on the video screen.

The goodbye to Busch Stadium is inevitable. No one wants it to be tonight. But if it is, they’re prepared. — Thomas Harding /

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