Cards' individual-game tickets go on sale Saturday

Busch Stadium's box office will be closed this Saturday, (March 5) only.

ST. LOUIS -- Individual-game ticket sales for the 2005 St. Louis Cardinals' historic, farewell season at Busch Stadium begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 5, featuring a faster, more efficient ticketing system that will enable a far greater number of fans to obtain tickets at a single, given time.

Buyers have the option of purchasing tickets through the team's Web site (stlcardinals.com), over the telephone (314-421-2400), at participating Schnucks Video Clubs, and at Cardinals Clubhouse stores at Union Station, St. Louis Galleria and St. Clair Square. On March 5 only, no walk-up sales will be conducted at Busch Stadium's ticket office.

During the offseason, the Cardinals instituted a new ticketing system that dramatically increases the volume of online and telephone sales that can be simultaneously transacted -- online orders now are processed five times faster than under the previous system, while phone orders can be handled at a volume 10 times greater that previously realized. The team projects the new system potentially can manage more than 2,500 transactions at once. With the gains in volume and efficiency, fans will enjoy a faster, easier purchasing process, and have equal access to games that generate particularly heavy demand.

The Cardinals already have sold more than 2.2 million tickets for the 2005 season (to season ticket holders, groups and through popular four-game "theme" packs), surpassing their entire preseason sales total of last year. More than 50,000 four-game packs (comprising over 200,000 tickets) have been sold since being introduced in December.

When individual-game sales begin, a limit of two tickets per order -- only standing room is available -- will be in effect for three games: April 8 vs. Philadelphia; July 23 vs. Chicago Cubs; Oct. 2 vs. Cincinnati.

Due to high demand for select key series in 2005, purchases made this Saturday only for the following games will be limited to six tickets per order: June 6-8 vs. Boston; June 10-12 vs. New York Yankees; July 22 and 24 vs. Chicago Cubs; Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 vs. Cincinnati.

Based on the club's experience with on-site sales of 2004 postseason tickets, in response to fan feedback regarding ticket brokers, and to address potential inconveniences that might arise due to new-ballpark construction, Busch Stadium's box office will be closed this Saturday only. While ticket brokers traditionally took advantage of walk-up sales by filling lines with individuals purchasing large numbers of tickets on their behalf, online and telephone sales provide more fans equal access to all games. Additionally, construction activity at the new ballpark makes it difficult to stage lines that historically have been long, but which could have reached unforeseen lengths if sales patterns followed those already seen in 2005.

The team's new ticketing system produces tickets that employ a state-of-the-art bar code system that, in turn, enables fans to instantaneously print tickets purchased online through their own personal computers and printers. Bar-coded tickets also will improve entry to Busch Stadium, enabling ticket takers to more quickly scan tickets for admission. Additionally, automated ticketing kiosks will be installed around Busch Stadium for faster, easier "will-call" pick-up.

With the start of individual-game sales, tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day online or over the telephone from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily using a credit card (remember, phone orders begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 5). Busch Stadium's box office will be open Sunday, March 6, from

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thereafter, operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


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