ST. LOUIS — Blues fans showed up, in a number of dramatic ways.
They broke records for television ratings. They packed the streets at Saturday’s Stanley Cup victory parade. They flooded Enterprise Center — and eventually Busch Stadium — for watch parties when the team was on the road.
But the real metric of success for the Blues, still basking in the glow of the National Hockey League franchise’s first-ever championship, isn’t in the volume of support, but in how much of it wasn’t there a year ago.
“What we’ve done is we’ve brought (in) some casual sports fans, maybe some new fans that aren’t even sports fans but have discovered hockey,” Blues CEO and President Chris Zimmerman said.
The Blues’ unexpected success culminated on June 12 with the Game 7 defeat of the Boston Bruins, prompting a celebration that’s likely to last through the summer. In the meantime, the team turns its attention to how it will translate this historic victory into long-term, sustainable business growth.
“We are now a Stanley Cup champion team. I think that is something that will carry forward and certainly, if I’m going to look at the next stage for the franchise, I think we are going to be building off this and have some of this momentum over the next several years,” Zimmerman said. “I think the biggest thing that creates business success, and particularly fueled with a little bit of a tailwind from obviously a great victory, is just our ability to grow our fanbase.”
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