ST. LOUIS — The quest for Lord Stanley's Cup isn't just providing a boost to civic pride.

The St. Louis Blues and their long playoff run are also helping to boost the local economy, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“Area hospitality contacts report stronger than expected sales, citing strong interest in St. Louis Blues hockey,” the Fed said in its latest report on economic conditions here.

You've seen Laila Anderson in her jean jacket on TV, cheering on the St. Louis Blues and even interviewing players. Now you can add her to your bobblehead collection. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum on Wednesday announced it's selling a bobblehead of Anderson, the 11-year-old Blues "superfan" diagnosed with a rare inflammatory disease.

The report, a roundup of economic conditions, based on contacts at local companies, found an improved economy in St. Louis in general:

  • Economic conditions “have slightly improved,” with small increases in employment and wages.
  • Real estate remains “soft,” with adjusted home sales down a bit in April.
  • Consumer spending improved, judging from seasonally adjusted taxable sales, with higher auto sales and the Blues effect.

“The overall outlook among contacts improved from three months ago and is slightly optimistic,” the Fed report said. “On net, 6 percent of contacts expect regional economic conditions during the remainder of 2019 to improve relative to the same period in 2018.”

The St. Louis Blues have announced that Clayton-based managed care provider Centene is the naming rights sponsor of the team's $78 million Maryland Heights ice facility. Now called the Centene Community Ice Center, the deal is for 10 years and includes signage, marketing and communications with Centene's brand and logo, according to a press release.

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