ST. LOUIS — Downtown St. Louis will be covered with baseball fans wearing red Thursday.  Many St. Louis Cardinals fans refer to the home opener in St. Louis as an unofficial holiday.  

Pre-game festivities often bring about more cheers than the game itself.  Pat McGlynn, the owner of Shamrock Pub, was icing down beer Wednesday and getting ready for the influx of fans. 

“With Albert Pujols back now, I think the crowds are coming,” he said.

One couple, visiting downtown St. Louis Wednesday, traveled from Long Island for the home opener.  Colleen and Glenn Forbes expect Thursday’s festivities to be special.   

“It’s going to be wild,” said Colleen Forbes.  “It’s going to be rocking.  The stadium is going to be rocking. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” 

Jonny Fritz is one of the owners of the downtown Imo’s Pizza on S. Broadway.  He said Cardinals baseball is a boost for business.  

“We’re ready for fans to come down and visit us and the stadium,” said Fritz. 

One downtown hotel work said reservations are at capacity where he works.  Daryl Schaetty is also a big St. Louis sports fan.  He said, “Opening day is the best. It’s unique, and tomorrow is going to be the best ever.”