The stadium alone hasn't changed things, but Slay said it gave confidence to businesses and investors, helping create momentum that is transforming downtown St. Louis from its desolate, dilapidated state of a decade ago.
Today, many of those buildings now house restaurants, shops, lofts and apartments. And many others are in the process of being gutted and remodeled. Before long, the revitalization spread to the rest of downtown.
Part of this year's development is the new Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals hosted the Milwaukee Brewers in Monday's home opener. The new ballpark offers a picturesque view of the Gateway Arch and the historic Old Courthouse.
"This truly is a wonderful addition to St. Louis," Gov. Matt Blunt said during a dedication ceremony prior to the game. "It is a symbol of the renaissance under way in this great city."
"I think what the ballpark does is not only serve as an important anchor and centerpiece for the revitalization effort, but it really adds to the momentum that will create a lot of new activity in that area," said Tom Reeves, a bank president and executive director of another downtown booster group, Downtown Now.
It's time for a new newspaper.