The employees of the city of St. Louis might just be the biggest winners from the Cardinals’ victory Thursday night.
The extra World Series home game is a major factor why city employees will not be facing mandatory furloughs for the first time in three years. Furloughs were expected to save the city $2.8 million, but Mayor Francis Slay says the postseason games held in St. Louis thus far have generated $3 million for the city alone by conservative estimates. And Game 7 should mean an additional $500,000 in revenue from taxes on tickets, concessions, and parking, as well as additional taxes from hotels and restaurants.
The World Series overall is estimated to generate about $52 million for the St. Louis region, according to St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association. Each home game generates about $6.1 million. About $3.1 million of that comes from direct spending in and around Busch Stadium. According to the Cardinals organization, 90 percent of fans attending Cardinals games are from outside city limits, which means the bulk of that money wouldn’t likely be spent in the city without the games.
As expected, Game 7 tickets are flat-out expensive.
Glenn Lehrman of StubHub said Friday his firm has sold twice the number of Game 7 tickets as it had for Game 6. Prices were ranging from $485 to $5,000 for standing-room-only tickets on Friday afternoon and $515 to $17,500 for seats. Craigslist ticket postings were looking cheaper at $350 to $1,500 apiece.
Of course, the Cardinals don’t benefit directly from high secondary market ticket prices. Their financial boon comes from the gate receipts they’ll be splitting 50-50 with the Rangers. Revenue from non-required games (games 5, 6 and 7) is not split with the players, meaning clubs see more of the money. (One factor in that: gambling and the fear that players could be tempted to throw games because of the money generated by an extended post-season.)
The Cardinals also expect to see benefits in the form of increased season tickets sales. Derek Throneburg, director of ticket development for the Cardinals said “Season ticket sales have already seen a spike for 2012.”