ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Blues open their 50th home season tonight, and it’s not just the fans who are excited.

City Budget Director Paul Payne reports the Blues generate about $3 million a year in on-site sales tax money from tickets and concessions. Even more money comes in when the Blues are in town.

Maggie O’Brien’s owner Pat McVey say hockey season means serious business for his bar and other downtown establishments.

“For us, it means our whole year, Blue’s hockey season, is our biggest draw,” McVey says. He adds that patrons are good spenders as well as great Blues fans. “It’s a real deal for us, we love the Blues.”

When asked if he was glad to have the Blues around for 50 years, Payne enthusiastically replies “Oh absolutely, both as a fan and as a budget director, yes.”

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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