In St. Louis, red rules.
Of course, they love their St. Louis Blues hockey team, but it’s the MLB Cardinals that rule The Roost.
Called by many “the best fans in baseball,” the good citizens of St. Louis know how to cheer on their teams, and also how to provide a great setting for meetings and events that serve up a good, honest portion of Midwest quality and tradition.
Participants of Meetings Today LIVE! MidAmerica discovered several exciting venues and group options on the second day of the event’s May 20-23, 2018, program.
After kicking the day off with the Meetings Today LIVE! MidAmerica’s first round of one-on-one business meetings, the event's meeting planner and supplier attendees set off on a tour of Busch Stadium and surrounds, home of the Cardinals Nation, both figuratively and literally.
The tour entered the stadium through the Cardinals Club, the most-exclusive game-day experience for fans and an option for groups on non-game days. Options include luncheon presentations, seated and plated dinners and also an opportunity for guests to access the field from its prime location right behind home plate.
Maximum capacities here are 400, seated; 500, cocktail; and 150 for presentations.
Groups can also use Busch Stadium for fan-favorite activities such as Fantasy Batting Practice, Cocktails or Dinner on the Warning Track. A group favorite, and one that is sure to leave a lasting impression for baseball fan and non-fan alike, is Dinner on the Diamond. This exclusive experience allows guests to sit down for a meal along the infield diamond, which spans from first to third base.
Other standout group spaces in or next door to the Cardinals’ home turf include the following:
- The Perficient Red Jacket Club, a space located in right field that is ideal for a celebration of 60 to 100. The National Car Rental Club, which the Cardinals events team says offers the best field view from an indoor space at the stadium, includes floor-to-ceiling windows and city and field views.
- The UMB Champions Club, described as the most sought-after space in the stadium, showcases the Cards’ numerous World Series trophies and is able to host up to 400 reception-style and 300 for a seated meal.
- Across the street from Busch Stadium is Cardinals Nation, home of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum and the Hall of Fame Club, where the Meetings Today LIVE! group enjoyed a lunch serving up cuisine that was more akin to a fine-dining restaurant than an eatery attached to a ballpark. Up to 250 can be hosted here.
Touring one of the nation’s premier ballparks and taking in the singular legacy of the St. Louis Cardinals can work up a mighty thirst, so the group boarded special trolleys that wound their way to the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Brewery Experience for a tour of the iconic beer factory.
If there is one place in the U.S. that could be considered the home of American-style brew, this is it.
If you bring a group to St. Louis, you have to consider this tour, which is both informative and entertaining. The brewery includes a substantial beer garden that will slake the thirst of attendees after learning about the King of Beers and seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales, their stables and maintenance routine.
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Next, it was back to the ballpark area for some happy hour conviviality at Three Sixty, boasting commanding rooftop views of the symbol of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, as well as Busch Stadium and all of the construction projects happening in its environs. From 400 feet up, groups of up to 300 can drink in the views while enjoying high-quality food (the poke craze was even well reflected in the appetizer offerings) and various venues.
Available options include outdoor, rooftop bar and firepit areas.
For dinner, the group ventured to the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton. Housed in the historic former train station of the same name, this property is a true charmer, with a soaring Grand Hall and a wide array of rooms, including about 40 that pay tribute to the heyday of rail travel.
Due to its layout as the former main train station of St. Louis, and previous incarnation as a retail center, the property offers more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space and stunning settings.
A one-of-a-kind meetings excursion available through the St. Louis Union Station Hotel is to hire the property’s 10 vintage rail cars for a rolling dinner and beverage tour of the surrounding area.
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The “closer” when it comes to selling the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, though, has to be its phenomenal light show. Popular computerized light shows that dance across the arched roof of the Grand Hall include a history of the station that references its use as a primary disembarking point for soldiers in World War II, as well as a Beatles light show that would make ’60s artist Peter Max—known for his colorful, psychedelic designs—blush.
When asked if the light show, which was saved for the last part of the dinner, was the ultimate sales closer, Union Station Hotel Director of Sales Sara Bedwell Newell shot me one of those looks that told my question was truly rhetorical, as the psychedelic light spectacle is the Ultimate Closing Machine.
The big news at the property, though, is the new Aquarium at Union St. Louis, a more than 1 million-gallon fresh and salt water offering scheduled for a fall 2019 debut, with a nearby observation wheel akin to the Orlando Eye that can host groups 200 feet in the sky to enjoy appetizers, cocktails, networking and more.
As mentioned at the start of this article, St. Louis is a town that bleeds red for its Cardinals, so no meeting agenda would be complete without seeing the team take on an opponent at Busch Stadium.
For our game, cross-state rivals the Kansas City Royals were in town, and Red overpowered Blue for a 6-0 stomping that for at least one night left River City with Missouri baseball bragging rights.
As they say at the Budweiser brewery, “Dilly Dilly!”
Be sure to join us for an exclusive Association Chat livestream with KiKi L'Italien on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
In the meantime check out some additional images from Meetings Today LIVE! MidAmerica 2018 below. And don't miss our Meetings Today LIVE! MidAmerica 2018 event gallery, which will be updated throughout.
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