The St. Louis Cardinals have clinched the National League Central Division championship and are now in the first round of the National League playoffs against the Atlanta Braves, marking their first trip to the postseason since 2015. Thanks to the home team’s hard work, St. Louisans can eagerly anticipate both national attention and measurable economic benefits that this postseason will bring to the region.
According to St. Louis Regional Economic Development Alliance’s Director of Economic Research Ruth Sergenian, the total economic impact of the Cardinals playoffs depends upon the number of games played here in Busch Stadium. Up to two potential National League Division Series games could be played in St. Louis for a total impact of up to $12.6 million. Any added economic benefits to the region from the playoffs are above and beyond the impact of the 2019 Cardinals’ regular season. At the end of the 2019 season, overall attendance reached 3.48 million, for an updated estimated economic impact of $344.8 million.
“Baseball means big business in St. Louis. Cardinals fans from around the world visit St. Louis to watch their favorite baseball team, especially during the playoffs. Then, they will also check out our award-winning restaurants and enjoy attractions like the new St. Louis Wheel and renovated Union Station, explore the Gateway Arch National Park and enjoy shopping and recreation across the region,” said Regional Chamber President & CEO Tom Chulick. “The Cardinals provide immeasurable economic and social value to our region.”
Sergenian calculates the economic impact of the Cardinals appearing in the divisional playoffs would reach $6.3 million per game. This estimate is based on the assumption that the games would draw 45,500 attendees per game. Historically, out-of-town visitors constitute some 40 percent of game attendees. The postseason playoffs are expected to increase out-of-town visitor attendance as well as the national media and Major League Baseball officials. Direct visitor spending and direct Busch Stadium operations are expected to reach a total of $3.3 million per game for the division series. The direct expenditures will ripple through the local economy to generate approximately $3 million in indirect and induced expenditures, to reach the total impact of $6.3 million.
This analysis uses the economic impact model IMPLAN, which measures how spending tied to an event has multiple impacts and spreads throughout a region, thereby benefiting local households and firms. The direct, indirect and total economic impact figures are based on estimates of visitor spending and operations expenditures at Busch Stadium.