When DeWitt says they're separate, foot traffic and attendance is not what he's talking about. These kind of assertions always put me in a bad spot because any explanation I give -- while based on facts, based on research, based on reporting -- won't fit your preconceived "narrative" and thus you can accuse me of defending ownership, when all I'm trying to do is explain that situation.
Of course foot traffic benefit Ballpark Village. Period. No one has said differently. The more people who come to the ballpark, the more people
-- buy food at ballpark village.
-- visit the museum and pay for a ticket to see Cardinals history
-- splurge on gear (a stream of shared revenue, but revenue nonetheless)
Again, it would be foolish to say otherwise, and no one hear is a fool, right? So they're not saying that. It's obvious that the more people who come to the ballpark mean the more people who spend at BPV.
Ballpark Village, as it currently stands and is currently developing, has been set aside as a separate entity for the purposes of paying off its debts, its construction, its development, while not siphoning from baseball operations. That is the model that Cardinals officials have explained, and that local executives and other teams and even sources within baseball have come to understand, and also by copying in other cities. You can actually see this in some of the spending. Before this season, baseball operations has increased its spending on infrastructure, facilities, tech, coaches, and staff, and there has also been growth in the payroll, too. There was one year where the Cardinals stepped back recently, and that was in part because they didn't sign the free agents expected, and then didn't plug in salaries to fill that gap.
As of right now, the apartment complex is about 80 percent capacity and doing well, and the other elements of BPV took a hit like every other retail area this year.
The team's stated goal of BPV is to make money and lots of it and have revenue that spills over into the ballpark, and onto the field at some point. I asked DeWitt about how fans can watch this ATM rise in the distance and when can they see that on the field. He said that would be someone else's answer to give. The implication is that it will come after he's no longer chairman. That's both a commentary on the finances, and how he sees his tenure as chairman in the coming years.