Frozen Four Travel Guide
East Meets West In St. Louis
by Damien Goddard/Columnist
St. Louis is known as the Gateway to the West. If it was good enough for Lewis and Clark, it certainly should be good enough for any one of the four hockey programs looking to restock its Trophy Case this weekend.
As fans from North Dakota, Michigan State, Boston College and Maine descend on St. Louis, each will have a different agenda but the same goal. Don't fall into the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers, like this Air Force hockey fan, and come home with the hardware.
Lets face it, we're not in St. Louis this weekend for the culture. That ship has sailed. Besides, what kind of a self respecting museum is going to allow scruffy fans in hockey jerseys.
So that narrows the off-ice activities to three sites. Catch a Cardinals game at the "new" Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch tram ride, and the Budweiser Tour.
You know the Boston College fans are going to want to catch a ballgame. Unfortunately, the Cardinals play in a snazzy new stadium and not the site of the Red Sox' famous victory in 2004. The Cardinals host the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
You've got to do it. A ride to the top of the 630-ft arch, designed by famed architect Eero Saarinen — who also designed Yale's hockey arena — is a must. The arch was built in 1965 to commemorate the city where thousands of 19th-century DU Pioneers stopped for provisions before traveling west. For $8, a tram takes you up through one of the arch's legs to an observation room with a terrific view of the city and the Mississippi. Beneath the arch is the underground visitor center and the Museum of Westward Expansion.
This is a recipe for disaster. College hockey fans only have to take a short stroll and then they will be offered the opportunity for free beer. This business model would never work in East Lansing. St. Louis is home to the world's largest brewer, the maker of Budweiser beer. Tours of the company's world headquarters, in south St. Louis, include the stables where the famous Clydesdale horses are kept. COST: Free. Closed Sunday.
Most hockey fans will be heading to O.B. Clark's before and after the games. O.B.'s is so popular among the St. Louis hockey crowd that Blues players themselves frequent the establishment: If it's good enough for them, it's probably good enough for you. Pizza is the specialty.