Final preparations ahead of Cardinals Opening Day

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A big weekend in downtown St. Louis, as businesses around Busch Stadium ready for another season of baseball and the possibility of the Blues making the NHL Playoffs.

“Opening Day is huge for us every year. Super excited the Cardinals are back in town,” said Dean Johnson, manager at Paddy O’s.

They have 15,000 cans of beer ready to go for fans. A few years ago when Ballpark Village opened, Paddy O’s lost 50 percent of its business. They said they have since gained about half of those customers back. They’re optimistic about the future, increasing the kitchen staff and expand employee hours.

“We’re opening for lunch seven days a week and we’ve never done that before, that’s pretty exciting as well,” Johnson said.

When the Cardinals are in town, there’s a good chance rooms will be sold out or close to sold out. It’s a home run for workers.

“Gives an opportunity to provide extra hours to the staff members so we know anytime the cardinal are going to be home in St. Louis were going to provide extra hours to the staff,” said Jayson Pollard, general manager the Hilton.

As always, police will be out in force making sure that everyone is safe, whether they are going to the Blues’ game at 3 p.m. or opening night at Busch Stadium.

“We have extra officers downtown, we have extra uniformed officers, extra plain clothes officers, extra officers on bikes, this year we have new officers on the train,” said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.

The people at the St. Louis Regional Chamber said 40 percent of Cardinal fans come from out of town and their direct economic impact is more than $165 million.