St. Louis Cardinals

As Cardinals begin new season at Busch, the region welcomes back a big economic driver

St. Louis Cardinals players enter Busch Stadium on their annual home opener parade Thursday.
St. Louis Cardinals players enter Busch Stadium on their annual home opener parade Thursday. teschman@bnd.com

It's more than the players and fans who celebrate the arrival of baseball season in St. Louis. Business and restaurants throughout the region also circle their calendars on the day of the home opener as well.

According to the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, the nearly 3.5 million fans who will file through the turnstiles at Busch Stadium in 2018 will generate regional economic impact of $302 million.

Ruth Sergenian, director of economic research for the St. Louis RCGA, estimates a direct economic contribution of $160.4 million with additional spending of $141.9 million. Historically, out-of-town visitors constitute more than 40 percent of game attendees who spend money on dining, lodging and other indirect purchases totaling an additional $141.9 million annually, Sergenian said.

Ongoing is the second phase of Ballpark Village, a $260 million development that will include a 29-story, 297-unit luxury high-rise residential tower, a hotel, retail space and the first new Class-A office building built in downtown St. Louis in nearly 30 years.

At $1.8 billion, the Cardinals are the seventh-most valuable franchise in Major League Baseball, according to an annual ranking by Forbes Magazine. Continued development of Ballpark Village will add to that value.

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