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What you need to know before the Cardinals home opener

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ST. LOUIS, MO —  A lot of people are headed downtown to Busch Stadium for the Cardinals home opener. Traffic may be ugly and there are many items you can't bring into the stadium.


  • The opening day pep rally at Ballpark Village goes from 12pm-3pm.
  • Gates at Busch Stadium open at 3pm with an appearance by Budweiser Clydesdales at 5:30pm.
  • A hall-of-famers motorcade will start at 5:35pm.
  • The 2018 Cardinals will be introduced by 5:50pm.
  • A ceremonial first pitch from retired Cardinal Bob Gibson to sportscaster Tim McCarver will be thrown at 6:09pm.
  • The home opener's first pitch is set for at 6:15pm.


Fans attending the Cardinals home opener Thursday will walk through a metal detector, have their bags searched, and be screened with a handheld metal detector. They will be asked to. remove any metal objects from your pockets, including phone, camera, and keys.

This year fans are allowed to bring an empty cup or bottle into the ballpark. But there are some items not allowed in the stadium.  Major League Baseball provides all of those details here.  This is the short list:

  • Alcohol and non-alcoholic beer
  • Aluminum cans and glass bottles
  • Flasks
  • Drones
  • Brooms, chairs, stools, and bleacher seats with backs.
  • Facepaint, masks or any costume that covers the head or face.
  • Weapons, fireworks, and noisemakers
  • Backpacks are still banned. But, you may bring a small bag.  Have it opened and ready to be searched when you enter the gates.

There are express lanes available for fans who don`t have bags at gates one, two, four, five and six. Plus, they`ve worked to make it easier for fans to get back in the ballpark if you have to leave for any reason.


Here's what you need to know to navigate the madness. Plan ahead for possible lane closures Thursday on eastbound I-64 near Vandeventer. MoDOT crews may be out again today filling potholes.

Phase two of Ballpark Village is still a work in progress.  That means traffic passes on a narrower eighth street. Plus, only the sidewalk on the west side of the street will be open.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that parking at Ballpark Village is already sold out.

There are also construction zones on 7th street between Chestnut and Locust and on Olive between 8th and Broadway.


For the past 16 years, FOX 2 along with Y98 and 102.5 KEZK, have hosted the largest Opening Day Rally in St. Louis! To kick-off the season and the home opener, we will be celebrating with a FREE party for Cardinal Nation on Thursday, April 5th from 11:00am – 5:00pm in Kiener Plaza.

Join us downtown and take photos with FOX 2 and News 11 personalities at our photo booth! We’ll be broadcasting live all day long. Share your Opening Day photos with us and use the hashtag #FOX2GOCARDS for a chance to win tickets to a future Cardinals Game!

Don’t miss the 2018 celebration as part of our Opening Day Rally!

Opening Day Rally
Thursday, April 5
11am – 5pm
Kiener Plaza Downtown St. Louis

Check the current traffic information here:

Grab the FOX 2 App for updates:

Chick Fil-A is offering free Food For Cardinals Fans!

AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages)

Area Chick-Fil-A restaurants will continue to offer Cardinals fans free food on select Thursdays. Fans who show up from 11am to 7pm wearing Cardinals gear will be offered a free original Chick-Fil-A sandwich or 8-count chicken nugget.

The Cardinals say this is a way to say “thank you” to customers and fans for their years of support.  You can start going to Chick-Fil-A wearing Cardinals gear for free food Thursday.  That day also happens to be the team’s home opener at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

The promotion is only valid on the following dates: April 5, May 17, June 7, August 2 and September 13. Limit one menu item per guest.

To locate a Chick-fil-A Restaurant, visit

Score Free Tickets

Are you heading downtown to celebrate Opening Day?  Upload your Opening Day photos and use the hashtag #FOX2GoCards for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see the Cardinals vs Reds on Friday, April 20th!

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