2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic to Generate $18.5 Million for St. Louis
ST. LOUIS (Dec. 28, 2016) - The 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® between the hometown St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks serves as the centerpiece of the Blues’ season long celebration marking 50 years in the National Hockey League. And while St. Louisans are eagerly anticipating the historic match between the rival teams on Monday, Jan. 2, their effort to bring the outdoor game to Busch Stadium marks a guaranteed victory for the regional economy.
The St. Louis Regional Chamber’s Director of Economic Research, Ruth Sergenian, calculates the economic impact of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® could generate $18.5 million for the region. This estimate is based on the assumption that the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® Alumni Game on Saturday, Dec. 31, will both draw 45,000 attendees to Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis.
“The St. Louis Blues have answered the call in making the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® a community event well beyond the game at Busch Stadium against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday afternoon,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “I’ve seen the economic impact this event has made in other cities since our first Winter Classic in 2008 and it’s impressive. Plus, the national and global exposure the game generates will speak well on behalf of the energy and enthusiasm of St. Louis and generations of fans who have stood by the Blues for 50 years. St. Louis earned the opportunity to host this season’s edition and I know the Blues and everyone associated with the game will find the experience worth the effort.”
Complementing attendance numbers throughout the weekend will be immense fan traffic at Ballpark Village, located across from Busch Stadium, as well as activities at Winterfest at the Arch, including public ice skating sessions, a youth ball hockey tournament and more. Scottrade Center, the traditional home of the Blues, will also be a hub of action this weekend as more than 15,000 revelers are expected to attend a New Year’s Eve concert featuring Kid Rock.
The total economic impact of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® includes direct visitor spending and direct operations at Busch Stadium, which is expected to total $9.6 million. The direct expenditures will ripple through the local economy to generate about another $8.9 million in indirect and induced expenditures. Collectively, these sums total $18.5 million positively impacting St. Louis. The St. Louis Regional Chamber uses an economic model called IMPLAN to develop these estimates.
“Our goal of bringing the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® to St. Louis was twofold,” said Blues CEO and President of Business Operations Chris Zimmerman. “One, we wanted to celebrate our 50th anniversary season by hosting the league’s showcase regular-season event, all as a reward to our fans who have been remarkably loyal and supportive for 50 years. And, two, we wanted to serve our community and build a series of events beyond the game, giving the entire region a lift in what would otherwise be a soft period for the local economy. It isn’t often you can say you’re staging a once-in-a-lifetime event, but in this case it is true and we’re happy that the benefits will be shared far and wide.”
About the St. Louis Regional Chamber
The St. Louis Regional Chamber is a broad community of leaders united for economic prosperity throughout the entire St. Louis bi-state region. Our aspiration is for St. Louis to be one of the Top 10 U.S. regions in prosperity. Our one purpose is to inspire a greater St. Louis. Together, we will make St. Louis a more attractive place for people to live, work, and invest. We will win on today’s regional strengths in focused economic clusters: financial services, health, multimodal logistics, and biosciences. We will champion a better tomorrow through greater educational attainment, inclusion and talent attraction, entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit www.stlregionalchamber.com.
About Explore St. Louis
Explore St. Louis is the driving force behind St. Louis’ $5 billion convention and tourism industry, the official destination marketing organization of St. Louis City and County and operator of the America’s Center Convention Complex. For more information, visit www.explorestlouis.com.