Just in time for opening day, the Saint Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association released a study that concluded that the Cardinals generate approximately $294 million in economic activity for the Saint Louis region. The most obvious crticism of the study is that they don't actually release the study - they just put out a press release talking about the study. This is 2007, and linking from the press release to the study is not difficult. I question the 40% figure used for out of town visitors attending games. That is 17,778 out of town visitors per game, and I think we would notice it if downtown Saint Louis had that many people walking around each day trying to decide what to do with their hard-earned money. I know that there are dozens of busses each game for groups taking trips to see our beloved Redbirds, but how much money can they generate outside of Busch Stadium? They are not staying in hotels - that's why they came via bus.
Of a more detailed nature, Dr. Joe Haslag seriously questions the validity of multiplier effects when used in these type of studies. The $12.4 trillon Gross Domestic Product of the United States is not calculated with a multiplier effect, so why do the Saint Louis Cardinals get to use one?
I had the plesure of meeting the author of the study, Mr. Bezold, while we were both on a panel once at UMSL. He was very nice and I am sure he is a very able economist. But I would take his study more seriously if they actually gave us the full study and if they didn't end an economic study (or at least its release) with a typical, PR-type comment from Mr. Fleming.