St. Louis – It won't be just fans who are hoping that the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first round of the National League Division Series this week - each additional home game promises an economic boost for downtown bars and restaurants.
If the Cards stay in the playoffs all the way through the World Series, as many as eight more home games could be played in St. Louis.
Chris Door is the owner of Paddy O's bar, right next to Busch Stadium. He said even with the recession, having both the All Star Game and playoff baseball has really turned around what could have been a down year.
"The Cardinals success breeds our success," Door said. "Our business is up this year. The recession is up, but at the same time, we have customers coming in and we haven't been impacted like some of the other businesses around."
John Johnson runs the Broadway Oyster Bar only a few blocks away from Busch Stadium. He said if the Cardinals weren't in the playoffs right now he'd start reducing kitchen and bar staff.
"We would probably be starting to look at a minor reduction at this point and right now we're looking to lay off anybody, simply because we have baseball to contend with," he said. "So we will stay at full staff at least until baseball's over."
The last time the Cardinals went to the playoffs was the year they won the World Series in 2006. At that time, the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association calculated the total economic impact at $3.1 million per playoff game and $4.5 million per World Series game.
The Cardinals begin the National League Division Series by playing two games in Los Angeles before returning to St. Louis this Saturday.