Illinois motorists will soon be able to feature the St. Louis Cardinals’ familiar “birds on the bat” logo on their license plates.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White on Thursday announced the Cardinals will become the first non-Illinois professional sports team to be featured on an Illinois specialty plate. He unveiled the plate design at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium prior to the Cardinals’ game against the Chicago Cubs.
“As someone born in Alton, I am proud of the legacy the St. Louis Cardinals have built in the Metro East and throughout Illinois,” White said in a statement. “This is an exciting opportunity for fans to express pride for their team, while supporting public education in Illinois. It is my pleasure to have the St. Louis Cardinals organization take part in this meaningful program.”
Drivers will be able to order the Cardinals plates after Labor Day by visiting www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Fans will be able to order random number, personalized or vanity plates. A random number Cardinals plate for a currently titled vehicle with valid Illinois registration will be $69. Pricing varies for vanity and personalized license plates.
Each license plate sale and renewal raises $25 for the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund, which supports public schools throughout the state of Illinois.
Officials said more than $10 million has been raised to support Illinois public schools through the sales of license plates bearing the logos of five other pro sports teams — Chicago’s Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox. Nearly 65,000 vehicles in Illinois have pro sports team plates.
The Cardinals were included in the existing state law that allows professional teams to be featured on Illinois license plates. The now-defunct St. Louis Rams also were written into the law. The reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are not included in the law.
Because the Cardinals were already mentioned in state law, the team’s plate doesn’t need to abide by a later, 2015 law that requires all newly created specialty license plates to have the same design with the exception of a standard-sized decal promoting the theme of the plate.
As a result, the Cardinals plate will feature the team’s bird logo on the left, its distinctive typeface spelling out “St. Louis Cardinals” across the bottom and “STL” printed vertically on the right side of the plate.
Pro sports-themed Illinois license plates currently on the road
Chicago Blackhawks; 22,110
Chicago White Sox; 17,515
Chicago Cubs; 13,794
Chicago Bears; 8,170
Chicago Bulls; 3,196