ST. LOUIS – Downtown St. Louis prepares for massive crowds with increased police activity and extra safety measures.

After the final three regular-season games in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals will return home to open the National League playoffs on Friday. Cardinal Nation is ready to experience another red October.

All season long, we’ve seen large crowds of fans rooting on the Cardinals as they break records and make history. On Monday, Albert Pujols hit another home run. His count rose to 703.

As the Cardinals start their playoff run, the sea of red is only expected to expand with larger crowds, come larger concerns about public safety.

“When we know we have significant crowds downtown, we certainly have extra police downtown,” said Dr. Daniel Isom, St. Louis public safety director. “But the Cardinals, they do a very good job with their own private security and then additional security measures downtown.”

Greater St. Louis Inc. installed over 1,000 new LED lights around Busch Stadium and downtown to deter crime.

“You can literally raise that lighting system to almost daylight. You’re going to see those on Market Street and others as you’re walking to and from your parking location to the stadium, and we adjust those lights, so people feel safe,” said Jason Hall, Greater St. Louis Inc. CEO. “This is not a playground for criminals.”

“Small businesses, restaurants, the bars, those places downtown that were hit so hard during the pandemic, this is huge for them, every post season game helps them recover,” said Hall.

Rosalita’s Cantina restaurant on Washington Avenue plans on welcoming even bigger crowds than in previous postseasons.

“It definitely brings a lot of positivity down here, which is what we need,” said Michaela Hogur, Rosalita’s Cantina general manager. “It will bring a lot of people down here, it scares a lot of crime away, it brings a lot of money for businesses.”

The first postseason playoff game will kick off Friday when the Cardinals play a wild card team. The time is yet to be determined.