News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Kegler's Korner

October 25, 2008

Kegler's Korner: Bowling Hall of Fame rolling to Texas

Fans of the sport of bowling will have to travel farther — a lot farther in fact — in the near future to visit the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.

Back in June, the museum’s board of directors voted to sell the small, but valuable piece of properly housing their facility to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. The area will become part of the long-awaited Ballpark Village development in conjunction with the new Busch Stadium.

Bowling artifacts and exhibits telling the tale of bowling’s estimated 7,000-year history have been housed next to the old Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis for nearly 25 years.

Discussions had been underway the past couple of years in an effort to move the museum to a new location within the “village”, but instead they accepted an offer to share a building in Arlington, Texas, with two other bowling institutions.

According to a St. Louis Post Dispatch story, “The move is a potential boon for Ballpark Village, the proposed entertainment district on the site of the old Busch Stadium. The project has been mired in delays, with the city acknowledging it probably won’t be open for business when the Major League Baseball All-Star game comes to St. Louis in July 2009.

In Texas, the museum will share a campus devoted to bowling — with the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and the sport’s governing body, the United States Bowling Congress, which is moving from Wisconsin.

Selling to the Cardinals brings to a conclusion a long-standing relationship between the museum and the team, whose new ballpark is across the street from the bowling hall. For years, the museum doubled as a Hall of Fame for the Cardinals as well, housing championship trophies and other franchise mementos.

According to the Post Dispatch story in June, Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III said “the team has been in negotiations to buy the museum land for more than two years. The writing was on the wall back when the [new] ballpark was a pipe dream.”

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