ST. LOUIS – Ballpark Village's grand opening was held Thursday night, complete with a free Third Eye Blind concert.

The $100 million 120,000 square-foot first phase of the entertainment complex was dedicated with civic officials, which was followed by a VIP gala.

"Ballpark Village will be a regional entertainment destination, giving all of us another reason to come early and stay late in Downtown St. Louis," said Mayor Francis G. Slay, City of St. Louis. "It links the exciting transformation underway at the Arch grounds to new venues for shopping, dining and fun for the whole family."

The venue sits on 10 acres of land, just north of Busch Stadium, and aims to bring people down to the area even when the Cardinals aren't playing in town.

"Ballpark Village is a truly significant development for St. Louis, and the opening of Phase One today is another step in the continuing investment the Cardinals have made in downtown St. Louis," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "This adds to the aura of Busch Stadium and the great Cardinal teams – past, present and future."

The new complex situated next to Busch Stadium was packed for its first night, with the band Third Eye Blind kicking things off. The excitement was contagious, but what about the neighbors all around them?

"With Ballpark Village here, I think it's going to help spread out the baseball craziness that happens downtown," said Colt Miller, manager of The Flying Saucer.

Bars and restaurants in the area are also excited to see the Ballpark Village because to them it means more foot traffic.

"Everybody is upping their game and making sure everything is all set and 100 percent, as any restaurant would," said the Alli Hughey, vice president of operations for Joe Buck's restaurant.

Downtown establishments are hoping their individuality keeps their seats full. At Joe Bucks, it's their direct connection to baseball.

"We are history, we are St. Louis history and it all starts with Jack Buck," said Hughey.

At The Flying Saucer, it's their beer selection. Miller says they welcome Ballpark Village with open arms.

"There's enough people to go around St. Louis that we'll still be busy," he said.

The other part that the neighboring restaurants are excited about, the nightlife that Ballpark Village brings, hoping the crowds will stick around downtown after the Cards play.

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
Read or Share this story: