Saint Louis, MO

America’s Center of Saint Louis has Capabilities as a Greater Array for Other Opportunities

Tyrone Wallace

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SAINT LOUIS, MO – One month before competing in the Tokyo Olympics, elite U.S. gymnasts, who are competing in St. Louis, got a glimpse of the grandeur of the Olympics. The Dome at America's Center was filled with over 20,000 fans, a record for the team trials. These fans came to watch Simone Biles and others earn their spots for the Olympics.

Due to COVID protocols, the staff had to include the team trials into the schedule, which was already filled with the NGB's National Congress and USA Gymnastics Championships. Originally, the team trials were supposed to be held at Enterprise Center. But, the Arch City eventually kept the marquee event in town, by moving it to the 67,000-seat Dome.

Matthew Dewey, Senior Vice President and General Manager of America’s Center Complex, admits that it was one of the most complicated events he had ever worked on. Dewey and the team had to adjust to the new situation. They only had one month to resell all the tickets and prepare for the event even though they changed the location. Despite all the adjustments they had to make, the staff's work performance was just as impressive as the gymnasts’ act on the floor.

During that time, hotel occupancy reached 86%, and the exposure from NBC's broadcast and Simon Biles' social media was immense. As the country was slowly recovering from the pandemic, hundreds of employees started returning to work and the restaurants were filled again.

Although the officials were still debating how to conduct the Summer Olympics safely in Japan, they have set a record crowd for the competition. City officials called the event in June a "bucket list" event. The chief marketing officer at Explore St. Louis, Brian Hall joked, "We could use a bucket list event like this every year."

The Dome has hosted several unusual events, such as "American Ninja Warrior," which was the first NBC show that completed a full season amidst the pandemic. Dewey stated that America's Center's vast capabilities were enhanced because of the Dome, and that presented various opportunities.

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