St. Louis basks in the aftermath of the 80th Major League Baseball All-Star game and it appears Missouri tourism reap a windfall.
Baseball’s mid-summer classic couldn’t have come at a better time for a state stuck in recession.
Chief Marketing Officer Brian Hall with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission says the All-Star Game made an estimated $60 million direct impact on St. Louis. That doesn’t take into account the positive publicity St. Louis reaped from national television exposure on ESPN and FOX, about 2,000 visiting press which included 500 foreign journalists.
"The international impact of this is quite pronounced as well," says Hall.
Hall says the research that the commission collects indicates that more and more international visitors are interested in visiting the Midwest. One of the attractions is baseball.
Then, there are the intangibles. Sure, the festivities drew an estimated 230,000 people to take in the five-day Fan Fest St. Louis sponsored, the Futures Game, the Home Run Derby and, finally, the All-Star Game itself. Those traveling to St. Louis spent money on hotel rooms and meals in restaurants. They bought souvenirs and visited other area attractions. It also gave people a chance to forget about their day-to-day struggles and enjoy being in the center of the baseball universe.
"It was like a five-day party," Hall says. "I think the people were able to forget about the economy. They were able to forget about some of their challenges and just let loose a little bit and have fun with America’s favorite part-time"
The success in St. Louis has sparked even more interest in Kansas City, hoping that a renovated Kauffman Stadium will host the All-Star game in 2012.