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It's fairly common for nighttime venues to have certain dress codes. But bars in downtown St. Louis are receiving flak for their particular dress code — one that doesn't always allow baseball jerseys at a place called Ballpark Village.
"If you've been waiting to bust out that jersey all winter, you'll only be able to wear it to Ballpark Village in conjunction with a Cardinals game or any other major St. Louis sporting event. Otherwise, jerseys are banned." (Via KMOV)
"No hats on the second floor of the Budweiser Brew House. No hats! Across from a baseball stadium! That'll keep the 'riffraff' out." (Via NBC Sports)
In addition to the ban on jerseys and hats in certain areas, the dress code forbids sleeveless shirts on men, profanity on clothing, exposed undergarments on men, sweatpants, full sweatsuits, athletic shorts, excessively sagging pants or shorts, bandanas and excessively long shirts — meaning when standing upright with your arms at your sides, the bottom of your shirt cannot extend below the tip of your fingers. (Via Ballpark Village St. Louis)
Ballpark Village is a newly constructed, multimillion-dollar downtown entertainment area located just across from the St. Louis Cardinals' Busch Stadium. It features bars, restaurants, live music, Cardinals memorabilia and more. (Via YouTube / Ballpark Village St. Louis)
To be clear, Ballpark Village itself does not have a dress code — neither does the Cardinals team restaurant inside the village. But there are about eight bars within village premises that are enforcing this dress code after 9 p.m.
Deadspin appeared to be one of the policy's harshest critics, dedicating three articles to the topic in two days.
One writer said, "The bars have a dress code to keep out what your bigoted great-aunt might call 'the wrong element.'" (Via Deadspin)
And another writer added: "I understand the need to make sure that your local bar is not overrun with [expletive]. Instituting a dress code that forbids what you perceive as gangwear ... does not accomplish this." (Via Deadspin)
St. Louis' KSDK spoke with some passersby on the street who had mixed reactions.
"I wouldn't be against that. I don't really need to see people's underwear."
"In regards to the no jersey except for on game days? Eeeeeh."
"St. Louis has been doing that a lot everywhere with these dress codes, and it's ridiculous."
A writer for Bleacher Report says let's pump the brakes. "Ballpark Village aims to be an entertainment district that attracts crowds to the downtown area with the atmosphere that is created by the bars that have already committed to being tenants."
It's a dress code that's been called not only offensive by some, but even downright racist. In fact, the issue extends beyond St. Louis' city limits. (Via Next City)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out the Ballpark Village developers, Baltimore-based firm The Cordish Companies, is facing lawsuits in Kansas City and in Kentucky. The plaintiffs allege the firm discriminates against African-Americans. (Via The Baltimore Sun, The Kansas City Star)
Offficials say they just want to make Ballpark Village a welcoming, family-friendly area. The venue officially opened in St. Louis on Thursday evening.