Im(pour)tance of Growth Outside the Stadium
While walking around the perimeter of the STL City SC complex yesterday, I found myself frequently wondering about the potential positive impact on nearby businesses (and future business). With the stadium tucked in just along Market Street near other tourist attractions, there appears to be just as much upside for local bars and restaurants. Furthermore, if there is someone with the financial capital and know-how, I believe that new eating and drinking establishments will flourish when the stadium is complete.
Even before it was announced that St. Louis would become a new MLS team, local city and county leaders were all-in because they know the economic impact on the region.
Hunter Bassler, of the Missouri Times, reported in August 2019:
"An estimated 370,000 fans from outside of St. Louis are projected to attend annually, resulting in the creation of about 175 jobs, $8,400,000 annually in total fan spending, and at least $1,334,000 in taxing bodies, according to an impact study conducted by the St. Louis Board of Alderman."
Logistically, there will likely not be enough space downtown for large traditional game-day tailgates, so local bars and restaurants will need to be prepared to fill this void. Some nearby establishments, such as Schlafly and Maggie O'Briens, are in prime locations to be packed with CIty Supporters wearing their Purina-logo kits with pride.
What will the food and beverage industry look like within 4-5 city blocks of the stadium in 2023? Unsure, but I'm willing to bet supporters will be thirsting for places for pregame and postgame libations.
By Andy Croley