Brace for a busy Friday in downtown St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– It`s a triple play for downtown businesses.   Three major events will be taking place downtown this weekend and Friday night could be the busiest night of all.   Be prepared for some heavy traffic during the evening rush hour.

That`s when the St. Louis Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of their playoff series.  The St. Louis Cardinals return home to host the Pittsburgh Pirates.  One of the largest conventions of the year for St. Louis is taking place at the same time.

The convention is the FIRST Robotics Championships.  High school students from across the world are in St. Louis competing for the top prize.  The convention is expected to bring more than 20,000 visitors who will spend millions of dollars.

Jeannie Bryan from York, PA is the mother of one of the competitors.   She cringed a bit when we asked if she had been spending much money during her visit.  She said, ‘Fortunately for you and St. Louis, but unfortunately for us, yes.”

The manager of the downtown Caleco`s loves the convention because families have been stopping by his restaurant for years.

“They keep coming back so hopefully we`re doing something right,” said Ashley Rogers.  “With hockey fans we hope it`s the same.”

Rogers is talking about the large number of Chicago Blackhawk fans who have come to St. Louis to watch their team.  Tickets in St. Louis are cheaper and more accessible than in Chicago.

“We appreciate their business,” said Rogers.  “We always do we have a good time with them.”

The general manger of the Over/Under Sports Bar and Grill agrees.

“Obviously we would like to see the Blues make it to the next round but it`s nice having Chicago fans here,” said Brian McAfee.   They do travel well and they do pack all the local bars and restaurants.

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