In nearly 50 years of play, the St. Louis Blues have thrilled fans with a blue collar style of hockey, spanning generations. Since becoming the sixth and last of the expansion franchises in 1967 to join the NHL, the team has represented a community which has remained intensely loyal to their club. It is hard to believe Baltimore nearly was awarded the final expansion club, after the Wirtz family and James Norris cut a deal to get rid of their fiscally hemorrhaging St. Louis Arena.
Like many teams, the Blues have enjoyed a cast of characters in their history, players named Mr. Goalie, the Golden Brett, Barc, and Wick. Fans immediately know who is being talked about when they hear these nicknames. And upon their retirement, scores of former players have remained to call the Gateway City home, like Noel Picard and Bob Plager, a person who is the longest serving team employee at 50 years of service.
Recent ownership has given cause for new optimism, although the team has struggled in the post-season despite so much regular season success. Along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Note has gone the longest without winning a Stanley Cup.
This new ownership and an infusion of solid off-ice leadership has vaulted the team to the second largest increase in franchise value at 15% (the Montreal Canadiens hold the top spot in franchise value increase at 18%). And there are many reasons for this.
The team has introduced a theme called the Heartland of Hockey. Combined with a dedicated commitment to growing the game and expanding amateur hockey in the area, you will see this play out in the team introductions as Blues players are joined by youth players and with references at various places during your visit. I live in the city and the increased participation in growing the game over the past few years has been solid.
The team has been clever in developing and expanding vital revenue streams without overpricing the traditional means for making money. Not owning the building where they play hinders this, but the team forges ahead and is conscious of image while they do it.
The better quality product on the ice helps, even despite post-season disappointment in recent seasons. But the real benefit comes from the experience each fan enjoys when they step inside the Scottrade Center for a professional hockey experience. Taking a page from the St. Louis Cardinals, who play baseball just one mile east at Busch Stadium, the Blues listen to their fans. It is not easy-speak, it is action and application.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The culinary offerings are an ongoing process which continues to upgrade year after year. And for the most part, prices have pretty much remained the same on most items. How often do you see that?
Along with the standard choices, there are a few new and improved options. There are new BBQ (section 123), Mexican (section 111) and Wok (section 124) stations serving cuisine-specific menu items from $9 to $12.
Not new, but still pretty neat, are Hat Trick Helmet Nachos, served with BBQ chicken or pork for $9.75. Served with a soda and it is $15.
Main entree items include the St. Louis Beer & Pretzel Dog (a jumbo beer dog with bacon, dill pickle, brown mustard and beer cheese - $12), Pile Up Burger - $12, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich - $12, Jumbo Hot Dog - $9.25 or Regular Hot Dog - $8.
As for items commonly found at NHL hockey arenas for comparison sake, prices are pretty fair for the most part.
For adult beverages Anheuser Busch products are sold at Scottrade Center. A 16 oz. bottle of beer is $8.50 to $9.25, wine is $8, 16 oz. draft beer is $9.
For soft drinks (Pepsi products are sold) and other beverages, a 20 oz. bottled soda is $5.50, bottled water is $5, coffee, hot chocolate or 10 Tim Horton Timbits are $4 each. A regular fountain soda is $5.50 while a bottomless soda is $8.50.
Upstairs, carnivalesque food, deep-fried oreos, funnel cakes, and cotton candy are available for your sweet tooth.
You can choose from a variety of snacks where regular popcorn is $5, but bottomless popcorn is $7.50. A soft pretzel with cheese and a small soda is $5.50.
I remain surprised the Blues could not come with nachos with BLUE and GOLD chips to go with the yellow cheese (or for that matter BLUE CHIPS with GOLD CHEESE, to further the branded identity). Whether they be Blues Nachos or Mucho Nachos, the price is $9.50.
There are several options for a slightly better cut of food offerings, one of which requires a club ticket, the other wide open for all fans.
14th and Clark, which faces the intersection it is named after, offers a carving station, pasta options, hot dogs and numerous snack options along with all drinks included in the price of your ticket. The club tickets range from $75 to $125 and you can get in an hour before gates open to the restaurant.
Come and go as you please at this multi-level spot during and after the game, even watching play on the ice through closed-circuit television. When you are ready to see the action with your own eyes, step right out to the main concourse and then into the main seating bowl at the main concourse level.
Just above this more formal area is Top Shelf, a large area of open space with raised tables for groups to gather and dine. Food can be brought from the concession areas to this viewing area, also at the end where the Blues shoot twice between sections 326 and 331.
Check out the download of the Scottrade Concession List.
The stage is set when you watch fans walking to the arena. The jerseys span multiple decades from Gassoff to Liut, from Berenson to Hull and from Joseph to Oates. And most match the correct era of when the player played as to what jersey he wore. With more than twelve major uniform changes since 1967, the variety of these jerseys is wide-ranging.
As you consider where to sit, keep in mind a few things. Know prices listed below are face value for a single seat. There are plenty of promotions and special pricing packages available, though.
For purposes of this review, imagine you are sitting in section 320. This is directly behind the broadcast booth in the upper level on the center red line. This is also the side where the penalty boxes are. The benches face your seat.
The Blues shoot twice to your right in front of sections 109-110. Across the ice, the Blues are at the left in front of section 102; the visitors are to your right in front of section 104. Both teams enter their ice to the blue line side of the bench. To slap hands and wish the players well, find your way down to 102 or 104.
The arena restaurant, known as The Bud Light Zone, used to be open to the general public, but is now open strictly to club seat holders. This will likely change for the 2016-17 season. It offers views of the ice and provides a perfect atmosphere for dining while enjoying the game. The 500-seat venue is on the club level above sections 108-111.
In the seating bowl, seats are comfortable and adequately padded. Space between rows can be a little tight in the higher levels of the arena. Aisles are wide with handrails up the middle. Sections are pretty much right on top of the ice.
Avoid the sides down low which tend to be some of the more expensive seats. The glare from the glass prevents a clear view of the action unless play is directly in front of you. Up high in the lower level is nice, but for the price, get an upper level ticket on the sides.
Dynamic pricing is a clever way to upwardly adjust prices before the season begins based upon opponent and/or the attractive dates on the NHL calendar. The Blues determine how ticket prices are adjusted, with the popularity of an opponent, day of week and time of year dictating price. For instance, a game against hated rival Chicago would have a higher value than a game against Florida if all other things are equal.
In addition, overall prices have increased, a reverse of the undervaluing of overall ticket prices under previous ownership. For comparison-sake, consider during the 2011-12 season, the cheapest face value ticket in section 322, row K (or higher) on a Tuesday night against Phoenix was $21. Two years later with all conditions the same, that same seat is priced at $38.
Let's say for that same class of game, you want to sit a little closer to the ice, right behind the goal where the Blues shoot twice in section 109. During the 2011-12 season, that ticket would cost $51, but for the 2015-2016 season it costs $60.
Now, if you consider a popular, high value game from both seasons, you will find the cheapest face value ticket has risen from $48 to $105. The highest priced face value ticket for a highly popular game along the glass in row A approaches $300.
With respect to these upward pricing changes, the team should not be criticized for these moves as they aim to yield a profit. The former approach of lower prices, but quantity as an offset, simply did not result in profitable results. The current approach of higher ticket prices AND getting nearly 20,000+ nightly is the track the club is on now and should be expected to continue. It is the right balance they seek.
The best seat for the money is section 318 in the upper deck, row B on the balcony. Seats in this section provide a view of both benches on the end where the Blues shoot twice. Here you get the best views and are near the escalator which connects this 300 level with the main concourse.
Why not row A, you ask? It's simple. Depending upon the game, a seat in row A costs $17-$34 more than a ticket in row B. Choose row B.
Once you have selected your seat and game day arrives, focus on getting to the arena early. Gates open one hour before game time and will be stacked in the main lobby. As you enter the main gate, make a quick right and follow the outer perimeter to visit to the Blues section of St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. It covers all former and current local pro and collegiate sports. Until a permanent site can be found, the artifacts are cleverly displayed in large glass cases throughout the outer perimeter of the main concourse and in several areas of the upper concourse. It is worth spending time viewing.
As you first walk into the arena, one of the first things you might notice here is, unlike the new arenas of the last twenty years, the entire main concourse is closed off from viewing the game live. You must enter one of the thirty foot corridors to each section and then enter the seating bowl to watch play live. The top shelf offers a limited open view on the one end with high tables to set food and drink down, but that is it.
The concourses are wide at the lower level, but quite narrow at the upper level. At both levels, walkways are often congested largely due to the concession lines spilling into the open areas. It is congested up top and less congested throughout the main concourse.
Restrooms, food choices, and merchandise are plentiful at all levels, but if you want some of the specialty items, visit the main level before heading to your upper level seat. Access to the upper levels can be gained through escalators and an elevator or two for those with mobility issues.
To see the pre-skate, get to the lower level along the glass no later than 50 minutes before game time and position yourself at section 117. You will get a great seat for the 18-minute warm up which starts 35 minutes prior to game time. The home team walks from their dressing room across the ice from this section.
As you wait for the sound of skates, take in the team's pageantry, a limited number of division, conference and other distinctive banners hang above the West end of the ice. Banners honoring the six retired numbers belong to #2 Al McInnis (1994-2004), #3 Bob Gassoff (1974-77), #8 Barclay Plager (1967-77), #11 Brian Sutter (1976-88), #16 Brett Hull (1987-98), and #24 Bernie Federko (1976-89).
The four distinct symbols (one of which is unofficially retired) hang above the east end of the ice. One represents longtime HOF broadcaster, Dan Kelly (with a DK inside a green clover honoring his Irish heritage). Another represents Bob Plager, a longtime defenseman and employee with the Blues since year one (with a #5).
A third symbol (#14 with a flame inside it) honors Doug Wickenheiser (1983-87), a popular forward and owner of the game-winning goal against Calgary, the night of the "Monday Night Miracle" in 1986. The fourth and last symbol is #7 which honors four former star players; Red Berenson, Gary Unger, Joe Mullen, and Keith Tkachuk. This number is not worn by a current Blues player and is "unofficially" retired.
Of the things you will see, hear and experience that are unique to the Blues, the famous march when the Blues step onto the ice, another is when the crowd revs up for a power play and then finally, once things have slowed down after a home goal is scored, a special celebration after they score a goal from a person named "Towel Man".
Unlike too many pro hockey arenas, the classic pump organ is a fixture at the Scottrade Center. Since their inaugural season, the team has entered the ice to the sound of the W.C Handy song, "St. Louis Blues." The team's organist sits among the fans near the stairwell to section 328. Perched near the Top Shelf Deck, Jeremy Boyer bangs out the classic organ tunes.
Just after "St. Louis Blues" plays, the music changes tune to the song made popular by the hometown company, Anheuser Busch, with "Here Comes the King." You will also hear this song during slow moments where the fans need a jolt. It works at Cardinals games, too.
When a goal is scored, the top of the arena comes near to being blown off. In addition to the loud foghorn (an added feature in all NHL arenas with St. Louis being the last club to adopt the post-goal alarm), the organ blares a modern version of "When the Saints Go Marching In."
It's not over yet, though. At the first break after a home goal is scored, train your eyes to the front railing of section 314 in the upper deck. Out of seat 18 in row F, The Towel Man descends to perform. I'll leave it at that. Ron Baechle puts on quite a show.
Intended arena noise also includes Charles Glenn, a jolly and rotund fellow who can't be missed or heard. He roams the arena with microphone in hand, encouraging fans to sing "When the Blues go Marching In," a play on when "The Saints Go Marching In." He also belts out memorable versions of both national anthems in distinctive fashion, a real gem in the crown of witnessing a game in St. Louis.
For the 2015-16 season, the team has added a pep band, stationed at The Bud Light Zone. They rock the house near section 330.
One of the things the Blues are doing during the 2015-16 season is adding more nights which honor the team's heritage. Now attending a game on a night where the team honors its captains or goaltenders might not sound like fun for an out-of-town visitor. But I can tell you it is pretty neat to attend a Flames game when Owen Nolan is honored for playing in his 1,000 game or witnessing the Sabres game when they honor Hall of Fame broadcaster Rick Jeanneret. Consider one of these types of games in St. Louis.
Scottrade is in downtown St. Louis, just a mile or so west of the Gateway Arch. It seems like just yesterday the downtown area was a bustling place. There are just a few places to eat within walking distance of the arena.
Despite the urge, do not go inside historic Union Station no matter what the curiosity. The once busy transportation hub and, more recently, a shopping and dining destination, are pretty much abandoned now. While there are plans to revive it, one involving an MLS stadium, wait until you hear the effort has been completed.
Across the west side street from it, though, there is a restaurant at the Drury Inn. Lombardo's is a magnificent place to dine and you can park on the street for free and then walk to the game.
Maggie O'Brien's caters to a pub crowd and serves a tasty array of sandwiches and brews. Also consider Harry's, a little more upscale and just west of Union Station. This is certainly the place to be after the game, too.
One last nearby place is Syberg's, on the first floor of the Hampton Inn along Market Street just west of Union Station and across the street from the earlier mentioned Harry's. When at Syberg's Restaurant, order shark chunks as an appetizer. I have never seen them offered anywhere.
Anyone visiting St. Louis would be well-served in finding barbeque in the Gateway City. Keep in mind, though, St. Louis style BBQ is different than what you might be used to. In this city, you will find a heavily sauced morsel on your plate and in flavor is described as a very sweet, slightly acidic, sticky, tomato-based barbecue sauce.
If you like barbeque, visit Pappy's, a little more than two miles west of Scottrade at 3106 Olive Street. The line can be long, but be assured; it is worth every minute you wait. Consider their famous ribs and pulled pork, order the fried corn on the cob and sweet potato fries as sides, and wash it all down with their sweet tea.
Just south of the arena a few miles is the Soulard area, near the Anheuser Busch brewery and filled with a farmer's market and plenty of eateries with shopping. Parking is cheap or free and offers good fun either before the game or just after. Some restaurants allow for fans to park there, enjoy a meal or drinks before the game and a shuttle to the Scottrade Center, free of charge.
Also while in St. Louis, find time to visit The Hill neighborhood, a community steeped in rich Italian tradition just ten minutes southwest of the arena. The neighborhood's north edge is along Highway 44 while the east edge is along Kingshighway. The west edge is along Hampton while the south edge is along Southwest Avenue. The area is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in the area, some just large enough for a dozen tables. St. Louis Bocce Club is also here.
Also, whatever you do, do not leave the area without having a cannoli for dessert. Missouri Bakery at 2012 Edwards Street is where you find the best.
Lastly, if you like Frozen Custard, you cannot go wrong with Ted Drewes. Along historic Route 66 since 1941, this location is just nine miles southwest of Scottrade at 6726 Chippewa. The famed custard stand swells after a hockey game, but don't be concerned as the staff really moves the crowd through the line. Try one of their "concretes" and when you order, ask them to show you what makes it a concrete.
Things to consider doing while in St. Louis when you have open time are the Gateway Arch ground, currently undergoing a massive, multi-year renovation. Travel up one of the trams inside one of the legs to the top and underneath the ground, be sure to walk through the museum of westward expansion and see the movie on how the Arch was constructed.
The St. Louis Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country (and it is only one of three United States zoos free to the public) all contained in Forest Park, a multi-purpose city jewel actually larger than New York City's Central Park.
A few things describe the three generations of Blues fans, but chief among them is "intense loyalty." Through thick and thin, Blues fans have supported their club, of course more fervently since the team has been highly competitive the last few years.
Get to know them as they are friendly, informative and highly passionate. There are many generations of fans who are regulars at Blues games. If you come to support the visiting team, simply do so with class and dignity. If you wish to practice "in-your-face" cheering, you might just go home with a different looking face.
There are several options for parking should you choose to drive in the multitude of small lots and several nearby parking garages. Of course there is metered parking as well. The garage next to the arena is reserved for season ticket holders who buy parking memberships. Parking garages near the arena range from $5 to $20.
Small parking lots of various sizes can be found south and west of the arena. The further you go away from the park, the less you pay, but you can get a pretty good spot for $10 and only have to walk just a quarter mile.
If you want to drive to the game, but desire a cheaper option, try the metered parking north of the arena one block along Market Street. If you cannot find a spot there, keep going north to find a spot along one of the streets which parallels market. Although you will need to be conscious of the one-way streets which surround the arena, it is worth it.
If you choose the meter option, know after 7:00 PM, meters are free Monday through Saturday. They are FREE all day on Sunday. On weekdays, because you can park for a maximum of two hours at a time during chargeable meter time, find a spot around 5:00 PM, load coins (quarters preferred) in the amount of $2.00 ($0.25 per fifteen minutes) and your parking ends up being pretty cheap.
Another good way (and the method I use) to get to the game is through MetroLink, St. Louis' light rail system. The trains are neat, clean and safe and there is a station right at the arena, the Civic Center Station. This is also the same complex which shares a facility with Greyhound bus service and Amtrak train service. Although the light rail system is pretty identifiable, make sure you board the right one.
MetroLink lines run from the Western suburbs to downtown and stretches across the Mississippi River to Illinois where there are eleven stops.
One train begins in the northwest part of St. Louis County at the Airport station (where there are actually two stops, one for each terminal) and heads east to the Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base station. This is considered the RED line.
The other train begins in the southwest part of St. Louis County at the Shrewsbury station and heads east to the Fairview Heights, Illinois station, five stops short of the Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base station. This is considered the BLUE line.
From either of the furthest west stations on either the RED or BLUE line, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the arena. The southernmost trip has a little more scenery than the northernmost trip.
Cost is $2.50 one-way or $5 round trip. Reduced fares of $1.25 are offered to seniors 65+, customers with disabilities, customers who possess a valid Medicare ID, and children aged 5 through 12.
The system operates on a pseudo-honor system. Buy your ticket at the automated kiosk, validate it only when you are ready to board. From the time of validation, you have two hours to use the ticket. Security randomly checks tickets and issues citations on the spot so be careful.
You will come away with good value here. Park on the street, walk a short distance to the arena, save a little for the bottomless souvenir soda cup and sit in the $29 seats and you are in great shape.
Although with team success comes the likelihood of increased prices, it still is a good value, it always has been.
Merchandise is fairly priced as well with always something offered at a special value, something most teams seem to be doing these days. While it might not be the best-looking hat or shirt, it still is of good value at the $10 or $15 price point.
Free WiFi is available as of late season at STC_Public and will soon become a catalyst to even more worthwhile guest experience at the game.
GAME PROGRAM - although the club is in the process of returning to selling a standard game program, fans must currently settle for the $1 roster card which comes with current stats and a photo of a featured player on the reverse.
MERCHANDISE - the club offers an array of merchandise throughout the arena, but their main store, True Blues, is just to the left of the main gate along Clark Street (also known as Brett Hull Way). Check the rear of the store for close-outs on items from previous years and discontinued models. There are good values here as well as some high end items including autographed goalie masks from some of the greats.
Also, the team offers a featured item each night, normally a standard type product at a highly attractive price point. On the other side of the arena from the main store, fans can purchase various eras of team jerseys and have them lettered and numbered during the game.
HOF PLAYER STATUES - just before entering the building at 14th and Brett Hull Way, be sure to visit the three statues outside Scottrade which honor Hall of Famers Bernie Federko, Al MacInnis, and Brett Hull.
LOUIE - the Blues' fuzzy bear mascot is quite the lovable symbol to young fans. He is everywhere and a key fixture in the Jr. Blue Note Club.
CLEVER PROMOTIONS - it used to be intermission was a time for yawning, stretching and finding something to do for 15-20 minutes. At Scottrade, there is always something going on, at breaks, intermissions, pre-game, post-game, etc. It is a 3-4 hour event which requires rest and preparation before you enter. I love it and you will, too. It is a sensory treat to witness a Blues game and the club realizes, as the Cardinals long have figured out, you have to add value to the experience. Good stuff, and, as compared to the other 30 clubs, stands as one of the best experiences in the league.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Scottrade Center is the home of the NHL's St. Louis Blues. The arena opened on October 8, 1994 as the Kiel Center, and the Blues became its permanent tenant after moving from nearby St. Louis Arena, a historic but run-down barn-style venue built in the 1920s. In 2006, the naming rights to the Kiel Center were sold to local online start-up Scottrade, giving the building its current title.
The Center has been used for numerous different events since its opening. Along with hockey, college basketball, arena football, and indoor soccer have been played at Scottrade, and it routinely hosts concerts, circuses, and ice shows as well. The biggest crowd in the arena's history is 22,612 for the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference basketball tournament, but its capacity for hockey is slightly lower at 19,150.
The success of the St. Louis Blues has fluctuated in recent years. They've never won a Stanley Cup, although several of their most popular players did with other teams they were traded to. They were a continuous playoff presence for 25 straight years, they struggled in the early part of the new Millennium, but they were never the worst team in their division until the 2005-2006 season. For all of the bad things you can say about them and their owners, they're always an interesting and entertaining team, and their home arena is a nice and comfortable place to watch them play.
Like most arenas in recent years, the corporate owned Scottrade Center has changed names a few times since the Blues started playing there in 1994. Fans attending a game in its current incarnation can expect to have as good of a time as in any other place to see a hockey game.
When the National Hockey League doubled in size in 1967, few expected the St. Louis Blues to contend. Fans had become accustomed to witnessing exciting hockey in the form of the St. Louis Braves, the Central Hockey League farm team of the Chicago Blackhawks, but success never came their way at the St. Louis Arena.
But things were much different with the Blues. Owner Sidney Solomon and his family created an extended family environment by bringing in veteran players and treating them as one special group taking them to Florida for vacations and rolling out the finest owner-player environments in the League. St. Louis was the place to be for players and under the leadership of Head Coach Scotty Bowman, the club and the city enjoyed early success and a new found form of sports entertainment to call their own.
Aligned with the five other expansion teams in one division, the Blues advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals their first three seasons. In those early years, the Arena was packed, fans dressed up in suits and dresses and the experience was special. If you had Blues tickets, you were someone special. Despite being swept in those series, the franchise remained competitive despite two very short spans in the mid 1970s and during the mid to late 2000s when losing seasons were common. In fact, the club held a record playoff appearance streak from 1980 to 2006.
Many great names once wore the blue note such as Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, current Michigan head coach Red Berenson, Hall of Fame goal scorer Brett Hull and Hall of Fame playmaker Bernie Federko. Other notable former players include Jacques Plante, Glenn Hall, Dickie Moore, Brendan Shanahan, Adam Oates, Grant Fuhr, Scott Stevens (for one season) and even Wayne Gretzky (for just thirty-one games including playoffs in 1996).
The team had a successful 2011-12 season where they challenged for the NHL’s top spot until the last game of the regular season. The Blues now have all local ownership thanks to Tom Stillman and his group. Coach Ken Hitchcock was named NHL Coach of the Year and General Manager Doug Armstrong was named General Manager of the Year. Times seem to be good again in St. Louis.
The Blues current home, their second since 1967, is the Scottrade Center. Opening in 1994 under the name Kiel Center, a nod to the historic and adjacent facility, the first Blues game was not played until December of that year due to the labor impasse. The building has undergone several changes to include a color change in seats (the original ones were all fuscia) and the development of more open spaces where fans can congregate, eat and drink while watching the game from something other than a seat. Just six years ago, the team was struggling to get 14,000 fans at their games. Things have changed for the better including new local ownership which changed hands in June 2012. The future is bright for the current version of the Blues providing a new level of excitement for fans, not seen in these parts for well over a decade.
With exciting, winning hockey, there comes popularity and increased demand for tickets. Prices are rising as well which is helping the arrival of the area’s newest minor league hockey team, the St. Charles Chill, with being able to take a piece of the competitive entertainment pie. Witnessing a game at the Scottrade Center is thrilling with lots of local flavor and an opportunity to immerse yourself in blue-collar hockey, a hallmark of the Blues in the Gateway City. Take advantage of the Midwest hospitality and a lengthy hockey history which is sure to satisfy.
It wasn’t long ago the St. Louis Blues fell into a tailspin, the result of trading away and releasing players to reduce salaries. The window of opportunity to win had closed and the team owner at the time, Bill Laurie, saw fit to shed expenses in an effort to make a quick sale. With a less-than-marketable product to sell, fans stayed away.
Numerous off-ice leaders from the marketing and sales ranks followed as a team which once showed so much promise on the ice had passed. This was about as bad as it could get.
The resurgence began with the arrival of Dave Checketts and new ownership in September 2005. The revival was aided when noted hockey sportscaster and one-time Blues goaltender John Davidson was hired to lead the team as President. While this duo failed to reach their intended goal, the franchise quickly gained improved footing. The team’s current upward trajectory came through shrewd draft selections, financially sound personnel decisions, and strong leadership at key levels of the organization.
Currently, the Blues have a new face leading the franchise, local businessman Tom Stillman who led a team of investors who purchased the franchise from Checketts in May 2012. Stillman brought with him a vigor and insistence that the team make changes to ensure its success on the ice, and profitability off the ice. Among other things, this meant ticket prices would be commensurate to the value of the product.
The massive discounting and low ticket prices for the sake of flooding seats with fans have pretty much ended. This new approach has been tested and St. Louis fans have responded in finding value by continuing to purchase tickets even at higher prices. Added to the effort is the return of franchise icon Brett Hull who serves in a prominent business building role for the club.
By delivering a successful on-ice product, there are higher expectations of the off-ice product, and the Blues have built a satisfying experience. The enjoyment of attending Blues games keeps getting better and better, and if you are fortunate to attend an NHL game in St. Louis, you will see just how rewarding it is.
In nearly fifty years of play, the St. Louis Blues have had many ups and downs, both on the ice and off. The club capped off their first three seasons with appearances in the Stanley Cup Final. Despite never winning the coveted trophy, fans of the Note have long-embraced their team, no matter what the season result.
But in the last four years, the club has taken steps to not only improve and strengthen their team, but make a serious run to the elusive title. Fans are enjoying the annual promise of a deep run against the NHL's best.
But even when the club falls short, long suffering fans must come away with a certain satisfaction. They want to know their money was well spent, that the experience was worthwhile and importantly for the Blues, they will come back often.
It wasn't that long ago that the ownership group who sold to the current owners merely wanted to fill seats, even give them away for free or at very low prices. Their theory was that fans spending money, any kind of money, on any items, are what they are after even if ticket prices are low.
Having significantly improved the quality of the on-ice product and the overall experience, the team can charge a little more for their tickets, offer fewer discounts and essentially, be profitable. This has long been a struggle since the team's inception in 1967.
As it stands today, fans entering the Scottrade Center are guaranteed to enjoy a magnificent pro hockey entertainment experience. Off the ice, armed with new leadership and creative minds that come from successful franchises in the furthest corners of the NHL landscape, the Blues leave no stone unturned.
I have been fortunate to witness an NHL game in every current venue and many shuttered barns. I have enjoyed Blues hockey since the mid 1970s and experienced a wide range of pro hockey sensations in St. Louis under diverse conditions. The experience at a Blues game today has never been better and today, ranks among the League's best.
Enjoyed the game experience at Scottrade Center. I was fortunate enough to be invited by gameday event staff so I got to have a behind the scenes look.
And these people work hard to make it an incredible experience for the fans attending.
Location was great, easy to get to. Neighborhood is a bit quiet though.
Toasted ravioli is one of my faves, but it was not piping hot. Atmosphere was good, with lots of little touches to keep fans entertained. There should have been more fans on this night though, a lot of empty seats for a Saturday night, perhaps because St. Louis basketball was on at the same time? Getting there is easy on the light rail, and there is plenty of street parking around too. Didn't see much in the neighbourhood afterwards, downtown St. Louis is a ghost town on weekends. Prices can't be beat, $35 for a lower bowl seat must be one of the cheapest in the league. Love all the St. Louis sports history on display on both concourses, get there early and check it out!
201 S 20th St
St Louis, MO 63103
2000 Market St
St Louis, MO 63103
1933 Edwards St
St Louis, MO 63110
6726 Chippewa St
St Louis, MO 63109
2430 Old Dorsett Rd
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
400 S 14th St
St Louis, MO 63103
2340 Market St
St Louis, MO 63103
333 Washington Ave
St Louis, MO 63102