Cardinals fans pour in from across the world for opening day

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Fans call it a St. Louis holiday. Opening Day for the Cardinals with full capacity is a feeling new to so many who haven’t experienced it in years.

“You can feel the difference,” Maura Murray said.

“Opening Day, it speaks for itself,” Greg Griffin said.

Bars and streets were packed and Busch Stadium was buzzing. Baseball now looks like it did before the pandemic.

“We’re down here, we’re gonna party it up,” Whitney McCarl said.

McCarl and her family made the four-hour trek from the quad cities just for Opening Day.

“We wish we were in the stadium, but this is the next best,” Amanda Brassfield said.

Brassfield is McCarl’s sister. They got to watch the game and cheer on the Redbirds from Ballpark Village. Fans from all over came down to watch the Cards shut out the Pirates, some even from outside the U.S.

“We’ve become loyal. It’s our first experience of baseball, so I’m loyal to the Cardinals from now on,” one fan said.

That fan, from the United Kingdom and in town for work, had the chance to witness some of America’s best sports fans in action Thursday.

“It’s amazing, I haven’t seen anything like it, so I’m really enjoying the atmosphere,” the fan said.

Downtown St. Louis was a sea of red as far as the eye can see Thursday afternoon. Some of that red, layered on top of each other, keeping fans warm who bared the cold inside Busch Stadium.

“The weather didn’t deter us for anything. I just put on more layers than I normally would for a Cardinals game,” Bill Blanke said.

Blanke and his daughter, Katelyn, drove from Indiana for the game. They said it was totally worth it despite the cold.

“Every time we hit a homerun it kinda warmed us up quite a bit and hand warmers on Opening Day is fantastic,” Blanke said.

“Loved seeing the Clydesdales come out, and all the players in the trucks, it’s really exciting,” Blanke’s daughter said.

The excitement spread across downtown and into businesses bringing back revenue that wasn’t coming in in April of 2020 and 2021.

“All it takes is Opening Day for St. Louis faithful to rush Downtown and have a good time. For business-wise, it’s really great for St. Louis City,” Ryan Brown said.

Brown’s the director of operations for Midwestern, Wheelhouse and Start Bar on Spruce Street Downtown. Their team has been preparing for weeks to host pre-and post-game day celebrations.

“Whatever your vibe is for the night we definitely got you covered, and we’re expecting a really big pop after because everyone’s already off work,” Maura Murray said.

Murray’s the human resources director for Spruce Street. She said they’re excited the Cards took the Pirates in a shutout so the celebrations can explode in downtown St. Louis Thursday night.