This morning there was a man pulling a suitcase down Olive, wearing an "MLB" logo emblazoned golf shirt. Yesterday, tiny front loaders were removing the hunks of broken sidewalk away from the edges of Ballpark Village.
The temporary Cordish signage surrounding the Ballpark Village site has been removed and an enormous temporary building has been installed. It's probably the hospitality area for media reps, team people, etc. Giant Allstar game posters adorn downtown buildings including the moribund St. Louis Centre Skybridge. There are banners everywhere and Allstar game themed arches for photo ops. It's a very festive atmosphere.
Even Papa Fabarres is getting into the act. Yesterday, they were moving furniture onto the sidewalk, so I asked them if they were closing down. Quite the contrary. The longtime downtown restaurant is opening an outdoor cafe area on the Olive side of the Railway Exchange Building (600 block of Olive) to sell lunches and cold beverages to Allstar visitors.
For the next few days, St. Louis is the center of the baseball world. Getting an Allstar game only happens once every fifty years or so, so St. Louis is working to put on a great event, and leverage this effort into marketing the community for future visits, corporate investment, etc. Mayor Slay is predicting that the overall St. Louis Allstar game experience will top last year's effort in New York City. Altogether, it's a $60-70 million dollar economic boost for our region.
What are your impressions? Will you come downtown to be part of the atmosphere? Anyone fortunate enough to be going to the actual game?