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  • Lloyd Brown

Enterprise Center – St. Louis Blues


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Enterprise Center 1401 Clark Ave St Louis, MO 63103

St. Louis Blues website

Enterprise Center website


Year Opened: 1994

Capacity: 19,022


 

St. Louis is No Longer Singing the Blues

The Enterprise Center had a very auspicious first season, as it saw the St Louis Blues win their first Stanley Cup ever. Prior to the 2018 – 2019 season the facility had been known as the Scottrade Center, but the naming rights changed when sold to Enterprise, a St. Louis-based company. It also has been known as both the Kiel Center and the Savvis Center in its lifetime. The arena has served as the home of the Blues since it opened in 1994. It holds 18,400 in its hockey configuration.

In 2019, it hosted the Stanley Cup Finals between the Blues and the Boston Bruins, which provided St Louis with its first NHL Championship ever after four previous trips to the Finals. The Enterprise Center will host the 2020 NHL All Star game activities in January.

The St Louis franchise was founded as an expansion team in 1967. They experienced success from the very beginning, going to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in their first three years. The club has made the playoffs in all but nine of its 52 seasons. Over the years it has seen great stars such as Brian Sutter, Al MacInnis and Brett Hull play on its home ice.

The 2019-2020 season marks the 25th year of Blues Hockey in the present structure and the completion of a three-year renovation of the facility over the past few off seasons.

Food & Beverage 3

The Enterprise Center primarily uses local vendors in its food and beverage program. They include the 14th and Clark Taqueria (tacos and chicharrones), Bud and Burgers (beer and gourmet hamburgers), Buds and Brats (brats flavored with Budweiser, ShockTop or Stella Artois), the Jack Daniels Barrel House (pub-style food), the Hi Point Drive In (burgers, tots and milkshakes), Lion’s Choice (roast beef sandwiches and salads), the Sugarfree Smokehouse (BBQ), Toasted Ravioli (a St. Louis specialty), Farmtruk (farm fresh foods), Eisenberg’s (nachos, sliders and sausages) and Kohn’s Kosher (deli style kosher foods). For those who prefer a non-Budweiser brand adult beverage, Brews of the Lou offers more than 15 hometown brews from St. Louis area breweries.

There are also stands featuring the typical arena fare of hot dogs ($6), pizza ($9), nachos ($7.75) and pretzels ($9). Beverages include Pepsi brand sodas ($6.50), bottled water ($6) domestic beers ($9.25) and premium beers ($10). A wide variety of Budweiser products are available at the Budweiser Biergarten located on the main concourse.

Atmosphere 5

The home of the Blues has always had a great hockey atmosphere. It has been a regular in the NHL Playoffs and has a spirited rivalry with their Division rival, the Chicago Blackhawks. The team also benefits from being one of only two professional sports teams in the St Louis market, and the only professional team playing in the city during late fall and winter months. Attendance has been near capacity for many years.

The team does a great job of honoring its past. As you enter the arena, you will pass through Hall of Fame Plaza, which features statues of Blues icons Brett Hull, Al MacInnis and Bernie Federko. Inside, the rafters are filled with many Division and Conference Championship banners, with the latest being the 2019 Stanley Cup Championship banner. Banners also recognize the retired numbers of MacInnis, Hull and Federko, along with Bob and Barclay Plager, Brian Sutter, Doug Wickenheiser, Bob Gassoff and announcer Dan Kelly.

The Blues also are one of the few NHL teams employing an organist. He plays “St. Louis Blues” prior to each game and launches into “When the (Blues) Come Marching In” whenever the Blues score a goal. The Blues added a new tradition during the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals to break their playoff jinx by playing Laura Brannigan’s “Gloria” as their theme song. It seems to have worked well.

While honoring its past, the team is investing in its future, while improving the fan experience at the Enterprise Center. The team is wrapping up a massive three-year, $150 million renovation of its home ice. This renovation includes engineering upgrades to the infrastructure, the installation of a new center hung scoreboard that is twice the size as its predecessor and most importantly, replacing every seat in the arena. Other areas being addressed are the addition of more premium spaces for social gatherings, an enlarged team store and a new beer garden in a city known for beer.

Neighborhood 4

The arena is in the Downtown West neighborhood of St. Louis. It is a neighborhood that is convenient to the Stifel Theatre and the future site of the St. Louis MLS stadium (opening in 2022). The Enterprise Center is also adjacent to Union Station, a hotel and entertainment complex located in St. Louis’ historic rail station. The complex is currently renovating the entertainment and dining areas, which eliminates a large portion of the pre and post-game options in the neighborhood until the remodeling is complete in late 2020. Fortunately, Busch Stadium and its Ballpark Village entertainment complex and Laclede’s Landing along the Mississippi River are only one stop away via the MetroLink rail system.

Fans 4

St. Louis sports fans have always been regarded amongst the top in the NHL, both in being classy and loyal to the home team. You will not find a lot of trash talk at a Blues game and they tend to be very welcoming of visitors (except for Blackhawks fans). The fans have filled the rink since the team’s beginnings in 1967 and were finally rewarded for their patience and loyalty when the team finally won its first Stanley Cup in 2019.

Blues fans always show up in their blue jerseys, but it is not always the same shade. The team has gone through many variations of its uniform over the years, and you can almost determine a fan’s age by what era jersey they wear to games. If you are from out of town, you’ll find the locals very willing to suggest a local attraction, eatery or watering hole for pre or post game entertainment.

Access 4

The Enterprise Center is easily accessed either by expressway or by public transit. From I-70: Take Memorial Drive exit to Market Street. Go west on Market Street and then turn left at Tucker to Clark. Turn right on Clark to Kiel parking deck. From Illinois: Take I-64 West to 9th Street exit. Turn left on Clark and go 6 blocks to Kiel parking decks.

St. Louis has an excellent light rail system that can save you the hassle of driving and is very economical. The Metrolink system will deliver you to the Civic Center Station at 14th and Spruce and is across the street from the Enterprise Center. The Metrolink system runs for 48 miles and has 37 stations along its route. The best buy is a one-day adventure pass, which gives you unlimited rides within a 24-hour period for $7.50. Parking in and around the Enterprise Center runs $15- $30.

Once at the Enterprise Center, there are 4 main gates. The best gate to enter through is Gate 2, which will take you through Hall of Fame Plaza, which features the history of the Blues franchise. Those entering through the Clark Avenue entrance will notice the biggest change in the arena. The former atrium is gone and has been replaced by a large addition to the mezzanine level featuring a new social gathering spot known as The District. This new area features stunning views of the St. Louis skyline. The team store just inside the Clark Avenue entrance has been quadrupled in size. The 14th Street side of the arena is the home to the new Anheuser-Busch Biergarten, featuring 18 taps. The Biergarten also has an interior viewing deck overlooking the ice.

Return on Investment 4

Tickets at the 300 level of the seating bowl run from $39 – $49, while 100 level seats costs between $84 – $208. Parking in the areas surrounding the Enterprise Center run $15-$30, while the MetroLink public transit system will get you there for $7.50 on an all-day pass. The concessions prices at the Enterprise Center are about average for an NHL arena. There are a multitude of hotels in all price ranges near the arena, as the Convention Center and Busch Stadium are nearby.

Extras 5

The St Louis Blues name comes from the name of a song written by famous bluesman W.C. Handy. “St Louis Blues” is still played by the Enterprise Center organist prior to each game.

Amongst the other events hosted by the Enterprise Center are the PBR Rodeo, the Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournament, the SEC Basketball Tournament, several segments of both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament and both WCW and UFC events.

In 2020 Enterprise Arena will host the first two rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the US Olympic Team Trials in Gymnastics.

The Blues do a great job with keeping the fans entertained during lulls in the action. This may include the playing of familiar tunes on the arena’s organ, on-ice skills contest or a children’s hockey game.

Final Thoughts

St. Louis has always been a great sports town, with good teams and classy fans. The renovations at the Enterprise Center have brought the fan experience to new heights, with the Stanley Cup Championship win of 2019 being the cherry on top. If you enjoy good food, great beer and terrific hockey, head on out to the Gateway City. You won’t be disappointed!

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