ST. LOUIS – Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III says downtown St. Louis is still safe and the new attractions and luxury living at Ballpark Village should bring people even more confidence in downtown.
However, he says a recent video shot from One Ballpark Way reveals an urgent concern that must be solved.
The video from last week has gone viral. You can hear dozens of gunshots with cars driving recklessly on Broadway.
“We’ve got to deal with this issue head on – right in front of us,” DeWitt said. “This is our main issue for now, security-wise, but I do think it’s an issue that’s likely to resolve itself.”
DeWitt believes it won’t be as big of a problem once businesses return from the pandemic. He says there’s currently a vacuum caused by fewer workers and fewer visitors downtown and that some people are taking advantage of it.
“This is a pretty small group of people causing trouble that are looking for things to do at a time frame where there isn’t much to do,” he said. “So, I think some of this takes care of itself over time as we get on the other side of COVID; but in the meantime, we’ve got to fix it.
“We’ve been working on some things to make sure that what we saw the other night downtown doesn’t happen again. For us, it’s working on some street closure issues and things where maybe we do it a little more randomized. We’re working with the local vacant parking operators to secure their spaces and Ballpark Village and the Cardinals have a strategy also for handling incidents in a coordinated way.”
The criminal activity we’re seeing on social media now isn’t new. It’s just in a different place downtown now. FOX 2 showed you in April large groups gathering along the Riverfront who were showing off weapons and sometimes firing them into the air.
DeWitt said he hopes new strategies don’t just move the problem somewhere else.
“Those locations can change depending upon how we respond and because it’s kind of a moving target, a lot of coordination is necessary,” DeWitt said. “So, we’ve been working with the city, the mayor, the police department as well as internally, the Cardinals and Cordish, with Ballpark Village and the stadium, how we can better coordinate and handle things like this.”
Dewitt says he will be meeting St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson soon, along with others in the Cardinals organization, the Ballpark Village security team, and other downtown stakeholders.