Thursday, October 26, 2006

2009: Busch Stadium chances of hosting All-Star Game in doubt

MLB cites open air press box.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America moved Wednesday to request that Major League Baseball withhold awarding the 2009 All-Star Game to the Cardinals until significant improvements are made to a press facility the organization considers unacceptable to host a special event.

Commissioner Bud Selig described the matter as "a real and valid" issue Wednesday and acknowledged being made aware of the writers' concerns.

"It's always a significant issue. I'm sensitive to it, and I know the issues are real and valid," Selig said. "The question is what can be done about it, and I don't have an answer about it right now."[...]

The Busch Stadium press facility has been criticized by media since the park opened this April. During construction of the stadium, Cardinals officials waived architect HOK's standard design, opting for a less costly, exposed press box offering neither air conditioning nor heat. The club originally intended to locate the press facility down the right-field line until Major League Baseball mandated that it be situated behind home plate.

Journalists weren't the only ones subject to the spartan conditions. The club placed its public relations offices in a windowless cinder block space also lacking heat and air conditioning.

Other complaints include poor sight lines from the box's second row. Media members not sitting in the front row are unable to see the stadium scoreboard or follow fly balls unless they lay their heads flat on the table.

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