ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Jerome Chapman brought his family to Busch Stadium Monday, hoping his children would have a better idea of what baseball was like before COVID restrictions brought social distancing to ballparks.

“Now my boys get the whole experience of what a real Cardinals game looks like,” Chapman said.

Monday’s game against the Miami Marlins marked the first game this season without a capacity restriction due to COVID concerns.

Nearby businesses are also celebrating. John Gieseke is the sales manager for Le Meridien Hotel in downtown. He hopes there’s a long playoff run because the hotel is opening in September.

“We’re starting to see more and people walking and more and more people in the downtown area,” Gieseke said.

He said hotel rooms are scarce in St. Louis when the Cardinals host any of the team’s division rivals or the Kansas City Royals.

Dan Farrell, the senior vice president of sales and marketing for the St. Louis Cardinals, said it might take some time before the stadium is full. The team lost out on several months when they would normally be selling tickets.

“Normally, we’re 80% out before opening day,” he said.