St. Louis Blues’ Power Play Pays Off For Regional Economy

by Bailey Tripp | May 30, 2019

St. Louis BluesIt’s been a glorious run for the St. Louis Blues as they’re making their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 49 years. In this best-of-seven series against the Boston Bruins, the same team the Blues faced off against in their last Finals appearance in 1970, our hometown hockey team has a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

No matter how this series ends, the Blues score on raising the economic activity and morale of our region.

The Blues bring the City of St. Louis nearly $4 million a year in sales tax revenue from ticket purchases according to reports from St. Louis Public Radio. While revenue from merchandise, food, beverage, travel, and accommodation expenditures in the City is expected to contribute to an increased budget, those visiting from outside of the St. Louis region and making purchases here creates more activity within the regional economy.

“Thanks to the Blues making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, we have more economic activity throughout the region,” says St. Louis Regional Economic Development Alliance Economic Research Director Ruth Sergenian. “NHL officials, media, and fans coming from outside St. Louis and buying tickets to the Enterprise Center, transportation and hotel accommodations, and food and drink throughout their stay injects new money into the economy.” Sergenian also points to expenditures for events like the Enterprise Center’s sold-out watch parties and street concerts as examples of new activity happening thanks to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

With the region’s excitement around the Blue’s Finals appearance, their overall value and popularity is anticipated to increase, which would correlate with increased tickets sales for games and related merchandise in the coming years. The Blues are currently worth $465 million according to Forbes Magazine, so it’s anticipated their value could increase with a Stanley Cup under their belt.

Speaking of economic activity, at least two of the seven Final games will be held at the Enterprise Center, which has undergone recent renovations to upgrade its facilities. These renovations, divided into two phases, include new seating options, upgraded lighting and sound systems, and a new floor and ice plant. The Missouri Legislature also see the potential in upgrading the Enterprise Center with the passing House Bill 667, which would infuse the Enterprise Center with $70 million in state subsidies over the next two decades as reported by the St. Louis Business Journal.

“We’re thrilled to see our legislators value the importance of the Enterprise Center,” says Regional Chamber Vice President of Public Policy Austin Walker. “Investing in spaces like the Enterprise Center means investing in attracting thousands of people to St. Louis every year. These spaces are often the first glimpse visitors have of our region, so having a state-of-the-art and fan-friendly facility goes a long way at making St. Louis a more attractive destination and encourages people to not only visit, but revisit and possibly relocate to our region.“

The Enterprise Center renovations have already helped in attracting more events to the region, such as the 2020 U.S. gymnastics trails. We’re also seeing more excitement around other visitor-friendly investments, such as a possible MLS team and stadium, the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, and the improvements to the Convention Center, that will help make downtown St. Louis a livelier visitor hub and bring more economic activity to the region.

But just as important as the dollars and cents of the Blues’ march towards the Stanley Cup, their playoff berth is generating plenty of excitement and coverage of the St. Louis region. Hockey fans from across the globe get to glimpse at what makes St. Louis a high-energy sports town.

“People in St. Louis are supportive, enthusiastic, and proud of their sports teams. This same energy is tangible in the way we’re proud of our world-class amenities, of our cost of living, and of our collaborative communities,” say Regional Chamber President & CEO Tom Chulick. “Our big-hearted nature is in everything we do, from business to sports and everything in between. That’s what makes St. Louis the place to stand out, start up, and stay.” 

The Blues are giving St. Louis an opportunity to show that for people who love sports or just love a supportive hometown crowd, St. Louis is the best place in the country to live, work, and play. Now let’s blast “Gloria” a few more times and see our St. Louis Blues make history.