ST. LOUIS — With no Cardinals games on the big screen — yet — Ashley Chapman is creating her own competition at the new Sports & Social outdoor plaza, playing giant Jenga with friends.
"I am really excited about this opening," Chapman said. "I have been waiting for this for months."
Open for the past week, the newest venue at Ballpark Village has space to social distance and a big screen so fans can be out around the outskirts of Busch Stadium when they're still prohibited from entering.
"I am just super excited for the city to open back up and get back to normal. St. Louis Cardinals, I mean, they make St. Louis for us," Chapman said.
But will fans be able to cross the entry gates and return to Busch Stadium this season? And if they do, what would that look like? There's varying optimism from local leaders.
"It seems unlikely today, but, as I have said many times, things change quickly," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said during her regular afternoon briefing Wednesday.
Cardinals leaders said they're planning for the best possible outcome as well.
"It's sorta like you gotta be ready for anything, so we're going to be ready for it if we can do it," St. Louis Cardinals President Bill DeWitt said. "You know, there are just a lot of things to consider. How do we do food and beverage? How do we do the gate on the way in and out? All that kind of stuff. We are thinking through and trying to see if we can come up with a plan that will work."
Without a definite call about bringing back fans, some nearby businesses remain closed or are operating with reduced hours.
The voice on Paddy O's phone recording explains their schedule changes are "due to the delay in baseball."
Until they can root for the home team, Chapman and her friends keep their eyes on their own friendly contest. And she buys a round of shots when she topples the Jenga tower.
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