St. Louis Superman Says Security Banned Him from Busch Stadium (UPDATE)

Categories: Blowback

supermanbusch1.jpg
Steve Truesdell
Superman says he never forced fans to pay him gratuity.
Who will save the day now?

Charlee Soffer, better known as the St. Louis Superman, announced Wednesday that security has banned him from entertaining baseball fans outside Busch Stadium.

Another street performer -- who was demanding gratuity from passers-by -- told security that Soffer and another Busch Stadium staple, Joe the Balloon Man, were also forcing money from people, Soffer says.

See also: St. Louis Superman Breaks Up Fight, Saves the Day at Busch Stadium

UPDATE, 3 p.m.: Great news, Superman. Stadium officials say Soffer, Joe the Balloon Man and any other street performers who follow the ballclub's rules prohibiting soliciting are welcome outside the stadium. A Cardinals spokeswoman says Superman has never caused a safety issue, but when someone told security that Soffer was soliciting, security officers told Soffer he was not allowed to ask for money. End of update.

Soffer adamantly denies forcing gratuities from baseball fans outside the stadium.

"There are unfortunately a lot of people in St. Louis, and most are sports fans, that have the wrong perception of what a street performer actually is," Soffer tells Daily RFT. "Until I'm able to give the whole community a public way to properly define my career and help them understand what I really do, I'm afraid more and more people will misjudge and bear witness to a false rumor they very well could believe."

Soffer says he's not ready to talk more about what happened "out of courtesy and privacy" but called the issue a "misunderstanding that Joe and I are sorting out with the park."

"We were 'thrown under the bus' (the security officer's words) by a person we both trusted and cared about," Soffer says on Facebook.

Like kryptonite, the Busch Stadium ban seems to have sapped Soffer of the upbeat enthusiasm he's known for. He still plans to perform this weekend, perhaps downtown or in the Loop, but asked Facebook fans to keep him and Joe the Balloon Man in their prayers and thoughts.

"Not only does this bring pain to me, but also a lot of struggle as I have no idea why this type of thing could even happen," Soffer says on Facebook. "This was a hiatus I never wanted to have to take, and an emotional one at that. I know people realize that this is my livelihood, but it is not about the income. It is so much more than that. This is like having part of my life ripped out of me.

"It hurts!"

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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63 comments
Wally
Wally

Just be glad that He is wasting his time doing this instead of his Telemarketing gig. No - I don't want my interest rate lowered SuperPerson

markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

READ SEE THE FRIEND IN THIS VIDEO CLIP THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON MOST PEOPLE HAVE BETRAYED ME CAREFUL IT COULD BE YOUR SPOUSE AND YOU COULD NEVER KNOW OR YOUR BEST FRIEND OR YOUR DOCTOR -MINE I THINK WAS GOING TO LET THEM KILL ME-HE IS INVOLVED DR BEACH READ MARKIE MC NIGHT I NEED DR PHIL DR BEACH HAD A CON MAN IN HIS OFFICE THAT DATED PEGGY AND WAS ON DR PHIL-MY MEDICAL RECORDS WERE STOLEN TOO-WATCH YOURS READ MARKIE MC NIGHTEdit (in 6 minutes)

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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shellywalter
shellywalter

I am a photographer outside of the stadium so I see him all the time, and yes he does ask for money after the fans take the his pic. 

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

So glad they didn't keep him banned! :)

MISJIF
MISJIF

Superman, a leprechaun and a blind man walk into a bar.  If Charlee didn't exist, this would have never happened.  But it did and it was hilarious.  And they were looking for Clownvis.

Silvia Luna-Bylicki
Silvia Luna-Bylicki

I had my picture taken with him! he was very nice and polite. He is a part of what makes St Louis a little more FUN.

Shannon Nicole
Shannon Nicole

I am really okay with that. If you weren't hired, get on somewhere.

Drew Somervell
Drew Somervell

Everybody seems like a creeper on a dating site. That's just how those things are.

Angela Schoemehl
Angela Schoemehl

5 years ago, him contacting me on a dating site I was on and realizing he was a super creeper.....

Jillian Ashley
Jillian Ashley

I'm so glad. My daughter and her friends were so upset.

Purplepeanut
Purplepeanut

Honestly this guy has made me feel so uncomfortable before. The word "force" is a prefect way to describe what this man does. I was 18 or 19 at the time when my friend and I went to the game and saw him outside after. Who doesn't want a fun picture with superman to post on Facebook after a great night at the game? He posed with us, laughed and then the mood suddenly changed. He wanted money and we weren't planning on giving it. He harassed us until we paid him and I honestly have wondered ever since if that was legal or not. He never stated whether or not there was a price beforehand so I didn't feel like I should be charged for a simple iPhone picture on my own phone when he never stated before hand a price and he's even the one who enticed the photo! I still felt extremely uncomfortable and felt forced to give in. I'm really happy to be reading this article because everytime I see him I just feel weird now.

Riverfront Times
Riverfront Times

We've updated the story with comment from Busch Stadium. And it's good news for Superman!

Bonnie Allison
Bonnie Allison

At least he is not outside robbing people. What's next, saxophone guy?

Vladimer Lapunksky
Vladimer Lapunksky

You can say what you will about this and there are people with conflicting issues. But I do know this much: In the photo for this article, Charlee is wearing a costume that he made himself to reflect how much he cares about St. Louis, the Cardinals team and the fans. The costumes he makes can be very expensive, and i think his time and effort are worth a dollar. I know that some folks have had their issues with what he for work and I can't help but wonder why. He enjoys making his costumes, going to Cardinals games, and entertaining kids and adults alike. Ya know, this isn't so uncommon in bigger cities. In fact, lots of bigger cities have a long standing tradition of buskers wearing costumes or doing wacky things for tips. As for other things that people have said, about being uncomfortable around him: I understand. Trust me, I do. But no one made you go up to him and ask for a picture. I know you don't think it's work, but imagine walking around downtown for hours on end, getting beer bottles thrown at you, and being harassed and denigrated because of doing something that you love.

Alissa Schulte Nicks
Alissa Schulte Nicks

I would rather have street performers instead of what we encountered leaving there on Wednesday. Guy ran up on us and says "Here, look in this bag, I have something for you" and then asking for money for whatever it was. If our husbands hadn't been there I would have been scared shitless. There were a lot of people looking for money out there. Seemed like more than usual.

Drew Somervell
Drew Somervell

What we need is more people with a will to be weird entertaining on the streets of St. Louis.

curtislawn
curtislawn

This guy offered to suck my dick for $20 and I told him get away from me Fagg I'm not interested so he pushed me down and tried to force it on me. Super cock sucker.

curtislawn
curtislawn

That comment was a joke please don't take it seriously.

Phyllis Johnson Fisher
Phyllis Johnson Fisher

Perform what? Does he really leap tall buildings or fly?? Photo ops outside are fine...

Carolyn Burke
Carolyn Burke

Simple answer - require St Louis Superman and Balloon Man have a Street Performers Permit. Cost is $100.

Drew Somervell
Drew Somervell

It's pretty standard practice to request a tip for a photo. He doesn't have to allow you to get a picture with him.

Kristen Franzeim
Kristen Franzeim

Me too... Isn't that considered demanding tips?? When I bartended, I didn't say "the beer is $2.50 and $1 for the service."

Douglas Dial
Douglas Dial

He's a good guy trying to support the city and the Cards. Fredbird can't be everywhere and he's a paid mascot. STL Superman asking for tips is the right way to do it. I'd love to see more costumed superheroes in the city.

Nik Vojicic
Nik Vojicic

I did not know that was how he made his living. Can you imagine when he goes on an interview to get a real job? "Tell me a bit about what you have you been doing for the past 5 years?" Oh well, there's always porn.

Jillian Ashley
Jillian Ashley

He's part of St. Louis. He makes people happy. My daughter LOVES him, and people all over remember him.

Angi-la Red Cloud
Angi-la Red Cloud

and im not referring to encounters with him when he's "in character"

Ron Clements
Ron Clements

Good. We don't need another adult child starved for attention.

Leon Satz
Leon Satz

Creepy Clark Kent, put lightly he asks for a tip if a female wants to take a pic with him, not nearly as bad as some of the bears dressed up around wrigley field that peddle for tips and grope women while posing....

drpryr
drpryr

@Purplepeanut Charlee has NEVER demanded money from anyone for what he does. People who have given him and all the other street performers tips do so of their own volition. As someone who's worked with him at Busch Stadium, I know this for a fact. And for you take pleasure his misfortune is sad and pathetic. YOU are sad and pathetic.

StLouisSuperman
StLouisSuperman

I actually paid that the year before they were canceled and removed. I keep the paperwork with me. I would gladly do it again if they were brought back, regardless of how much the permit would cost. Thank you for the suggestion!

thesugarcyanide
thesugarcyanide

I know him and he would take the picture whether tipped or not. While this was his livelihood he didn't do it for the money. He did it for the Joy of it. A thing which so few will truly understand. 

mingkc2
mingkc2

@drpryr @Purplepeanut My wife had a similar thing happened where he asked for money after a picture and she thought he could've asked up front if he charged.  She didn't say harassed but she found it strange.  So, I'm not sure you "know this for a fact"

Purplepeanut
Purplepeanut

@drpryr Well I have no reason to lie about that so..? When we start using words like "I know for a fact" when in reality YOU don't know for a fact it makes YOU less credible, NOT me. That did happen and I am sorry it did. It's not like I want this guy out of a job, nor do I care to see his whole life suffer because of this. I DO however think this is a good article because obviously I'm not the only one who has felt "forced" as I, and the article both state. Whether he continues as a performer at the stadium is none of my concern. However I do think it's important for him to realize maybe how he makes his "customers" feel. What I hope comes from this is that he eases up a bit so that it is still an enjoyable experience and I'm sure he will because it has now been brought to his and the public's attention. So I apologize if that's "pathetic" of me.

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