The Blues got bounced in the first round of the 2020 playoffs, but that doesn’t mean that their year wasn’t successful. The team took their momentum from several years of close cooperation with the NHL in large events like the Winter Classic and parlayed it into fan enthusiasm, increased ticket sales, an improbable playoff run, a Stanley Cup, and the 2020 NHL All-Star Game and fan festivities. They’re also slated to participate as the away team in the next Winter Classic at Target Field against the Minnesota Wild whenever that event’ll take place.
The Blues have become one of professional sports’ big success stories, and this week they were awarded again for their progress. They were named Sports Team of the Year by the Sports Business Awards. They beat out the other four finalists: The Minnesota Twins, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Raptors and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.
Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman gave an acceptance speech that thanked the team ownership group and the fans for a successful year.
“Our challenge from there was to create a championship team on the ice and to find financial stability, something that had been elusive over our 50 years. Winning this award tonight really reflects not just the work of one year, but a commitment made back in 2012, and it’s a celebration of a remarkable, passionate and determined staff that made it possible.”
On top of the award for Sports Team of the Year, the 2020 NHL All-Star Game and fan weekend finished as a finalist for sports event of the year. The All-Star Weekend packed downtown and especially St. Louis Union Station, where fans waited in line for hours for their photo with the Stanley Cup.
With an off-season of roster uncertainty coming up for the team, including the potential loss of Alex Pietrangelo to free agency, the Blues needed a bit of good news. This should serve as a reminder that the team is a franchise that has not only been headed in the right direction for years, but also should be trending in that direction for a while to come.