Years ago, stadiums were built to host baseball and football games. Since those multi-purpose venues have gone the way of AstroTurf, football games in baseball stadiums have become a quaint event. Bowl games in San Francisco and New York have been built around that premise.
The old Busch Stadium in St. Louis was an old-fashioned stadium that hosted football and baseball. The new Busch Stadium wants in on the football action.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced that it will host the first college football game at Busch Stadium, between the Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois on Sept. 21.
That will be a fun game with a lot of local alumni from both sides invested in the rivalry, but it's also fair to wonder if this is a bit of a test drive for bigger football events in the stadium, which opened in 2006.
"We are thrilled to host our first football game in Busch Stadium with two great schools that have such a large following in St. Louis," Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said. "We are excited to showcase the versatility of Busch Stadium as a multi-use sports venue."
It sure sounds like this isn't a one-time thing.
The problem is there are no obvious FBS game to play there. Missouri and Illinois haven't played since 2010. Missouri and Kansas aren't in the same conference anymore, and playing at St. Louis might not make much sense for them even if they did. It's likely neither school would want to move home games to St. Louis. The Big 12 doesn't have enough members to hold a championship game. A bowl game might be a possibility down the road, especially since the Pinstripe Bowl has shown you can have a successful game in cold weather in a baseball stadium.
Hopefully the first college football game at Busch Stadium is a success. It would be fun to see that venue included for some more special college football events.