A weekend of protests following the not-guilty verdict in the murder trial of former police officer Jason Stockley has delivered what some activists promised: disruption to the metropolitan area’s economy.
For people who counted on big concerts downtown or small-business owners who banked on a weekend of sales, the loss is fairly easy to quantify. The longer-term effect on the region — one that was convulsed just three years ago by Ferguson protests — is unclear.
For some hotels, restaurants and retailers, paying for plywood and replacement windows is only the beginning. Some businesses have trimmed operating hours before and after protests, resulting in lost revenue and fewer hours for employees.
The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which operates the Dome at America’s Center, said it had no way to track the economic impact from the weekend concert cancellations. U2 was supposed to play Saturday at the Dome at America’s Center and Ed Sheeran was booked for Scottrade Center on Sunday.
In looking to the future, some are wondering about the long-term impacts of this weekend’s disruption. Does the unrest make the bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters seem ridiculous now? Will the Washington Avenue entertainment district, which has had to wrestle with the perception that crime is on the rise, face an even bigger challenge in the wake of the vandalism that took place Sunday night? Will out-of-town parents who send their kids to Washington University think twice about housing near the Delmar Loop?