ST. LOUIS — Apparently, Monday Night Football had a message for the World Series: Meet me in St. Louis.
The big events taking place near the historic Gateway Arch crammed more than 103,000 people into downtown St. Louis. Busch Stadium, hosting the pivotal Game 5 of the World Series between the Cardinals and Red Sox, is eight blocks south of the Edward Jones Dome, home of the Rams.
Ultimately, the night was a double disappointment for the home crowds – 47,436 at Busch Stadium, 55,966 at the dome. The Rams dropped to 3-5 with a 14-9 loss to the Seahawks that ended with an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal at the Seattle 1.
More importantly for most St. Louis fans, the Cardinals lost 3-1 in Game 5, and now need to sweep the final two games in Boston to win the best-of-7 series.
The prime-time NFL game has been around since 1970 but, until now, it had never been played in the same city where a World Series was going on. However, in 1986, Boston lost Game 7 of the Series at the New York Mets on a Monday night – a game that was pushed back a day by rain – while the NFL Giants hosted Washington that evening at Giants Stadium, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
All on its own, the football game should have been a joyous occasion – it marked the first Monday night game in St. Louis since 2006, a drought largely due to the fact that the Rams have been mostly awful since then.
But in baseball-mad St. Louis, the Rams clearly took a backseat.
“You want to go crazy for the Rams on national TV,” William Cain of Belleville, Ill., said. Then again, he opted for baseball and was at the World Series.
“I think almost everyone in St. Louis will agree – the World Series is more important,” he said.
Two hours before the first pitch of Game 5, StubHub had World Series tickets going for $244 and more. Rams tickets were selling for as little as $9.75.
It could have been worse for the Rams.
If St. Louis had won Game 4 on Sunday, the Cardinals would have been playing with a chance to win the World Series on Monday.