St. Louis Prepares for Spotlight

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This article from St. Louis’ alt-weekly paper takes a look at some of the clean-up underway in the city for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, which is Tuesday.

“Nearly 2,000 journalists have been issued credentials for the game and its peripheral events,” the article states, adding the game is set to be broadcast to 226 countries in twelve languages and more than 100 million households.

“City leaders are banking that the game will have a lasting impact on the local economy. If all goes well, they say, the thousands of tourists and executives visiting St. Louis and the millions of viewers tuning in to watch the spectacle will be awed by all the city has to offer,” the story says.

“Naturally, a critical part of the game plan is dispelling the lingering stereotype that downtown remains the same urban wasteland it was when Escape from New York was filmed on St. Louis’ streets. As a result, the city has undergone a substantial facelift in the hope of impressing visitors. And, like a pretty-but-pimple-faced girl primping for prom night, the makeup is being applied in layers.”

I’m interested in what our St. Louis readers think…do you think the effort is worth it for these cosmetic improvements?

4 Comments

Filed under Economic Development, Featured

4 responses to “St. Louis Prepares for Spotlight

  1. The divergent nature of the projects makes it difficult to issue a blanket assessment. The CityGarden project is extremely welcome and almost makes up for the loss of the nationally recognized Buder Building and Real Estate Row for the open grass of Gateway Mall. (The view from the Mall was blocked by the subsequent construction of an extremely banal office building in the middle of the newly assembled park space.) Other welcome improvements fall under the category of things that should be done anyway: removing notations for our vacant St. Louis Center shopping mall from wayfinding signs (I guess we can try to hide it?)and frenetic landscaping come to mind.

    Other efforts, such as the huge corporate development at Ballpark Village, were a bridge too far. Their failures are welcome because it gives us more time to consider truly sustainable and urban solutions. However, the softball field on that site is an utter joke.

    Overall, I think the effect of the All Star Game is good, but its benefit is contained within the downtown area. Visitors are unlikely to see many of the grassroots redevelopment areas, nor will those areas receive any economic benefit from the game. At least this event has motivation to leave the car at home and use our effective transit system.

  2. Downtown St. Louis has come a long way in the past 10 years, and it’s looking great (with exception of a few major blemishes). I had the pleasure of going downtown yesterday and looked at the city through the eyes of a tourist, and I must say I was very proud.

    If you haven’t been to St. Louis in several years, you are bound to be shocked. This is a different city now. When the economy improves, there is no doubt that the momentum will resume.

  3. I only hope the city’s leaders understand the importance of keeping the city lively and welcoming year-round, not just when all eyes are on us. We gussy up all of our landmarks and storefronts and streetscapes for a bunch of tourists, yet once they go home, it’s back to status quo. We need to treat our city as if it’s in the spotlight all the time (without overdoing it). The optimism here is very palpable and exciting right now. I hope it continues.

  4. As a downtown resident…I am shocked at the changes in 2 years. This city has DRASTICALLY improved its image. They are driving the homeless out and making it a beautiful place to live. NO JOKE!

    I believe we have years to come, but this city is on the rise. City Gardens alone is proof of the dramatic change.

    http://www.citygardenstl.org/

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