The baseball players did not leave town this week with the only impressive statistics. Hundreds of thousands of people converging upon downtown St. Louis during All-Star Week produced some pretty important big numbers of their own: a record turnout for Fan Fest, great local television viewership, strong sales at hotels and bars, positive bumps for retailers and airlines, and a portfolio of positive mentions of St. Louis on national and international broadcasts.
Some numbers were impressively small: only 29 arrests in the downtown area, with no major criminal incidents and no serious acts of violence. Fewer than 10 reported car break-ins. Chief Dan Isom credited his officers, and officers from several local, state, and federal police agencies.
Among my favorite numbers were these: More than 4,600 people helped make local roads and highways safer by participating in safe-ride home programs jointly sponsored by the brewery, the Cardinals, and MLB — either by registering as designated drivers for their groups or by using a special number to call a cab for a safe ride home.