You don’t think of the modern new major-league baseball stadiums as having dangerous structural flaws, but St. Louis Cardinals' officials found out otherwise on Monday.
A 170-pound steel plate fell from Busch Stadium Monday afternoon, crashing on a sidewalk outside the stadium. The Cardinals are out of town on a road trip, and fortunately no one was hurt from the incident.
Cardinals vice president of stadium operations Joe Abernathy told reporters Tuesday that inspectors believe rusted anchor bolts holding the decorative panel eroded, causing it to fall. The inspector said water had seeped between the panel and the concrete face it was covering, and that the recent heatwave may have caused the rusted bolts to expand, forcing the steel panel loose.
“We do a lot of things to inspect the building,” Abernathy said. “But this is in an area that we wouldn’t normally look for. It will be now.”
Construction crews have begun removing more than 100 decorative steel plates from Busch Stadium. The work is expected to be completed when the Cardinals return for their next homestand, which begins on Tuesday next week.