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Stanley Cup Final Game 7 watch party at Busch Stadium

Marco Nettles, left, Tim Goodwin, center, and Grant Cawley, celebrate the Blues victory in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final during a watch party at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — At 9:41 p.m. Wednesday, “Gloria” played to a packed Enterprise Center as thousands cried, danced and hugged complete strangers.

The St. Louis Blues were more than 1,100 miles away in Boston, but the moment they won the Stanley Cup for the first time, it felt like they were home.

“Next to getting married and having my children this is the most amazing moment of my life,” said Melissa DePew, a Blues fan since the 1970s, as a chant of “We got the Cup” filled the arena.

DePew was one of 18,400 fans at Enterprise Center for the game, and never mind the empty ice. Tickets for a chance to watch the final game on the arena’s big screens sold out quickly.

Less than a mile away, the Cardinals opened up Busch Stadium to Blues fans, selling 23,400 tickets. Many fans sat through hours of on-and-off rain so they wouldn’t miss a minute of St. Louis sports history, holding an umbrella in one hand and high-fiving after the four St. Louis goals with the other.

“I was starting to think I wouldn’t live to see this,” said Jim Walsh, who attended the watch party at Enterprise Center. Walsh became a Blues fan when the team formed when he was 9. He remembers sitting and listening to the games on the radio as a little kid. “We’ve waited so, so, so long.”

“I’m thinking about my grandpa today,” said his son, Brian Walsh, who came to the watch party with his dad, along with his beer mug in the shape of the Stanley Cup. “He passed away before he could see this game.”

John Sellman, of Affton, came to the watch party with his fiancee.

“I’m going to try to hold back tears,”” he said. “I wore a Blues onesie when I was a baby. This is the first time I had ‘glass’ seats and the Blues aren’t even here. ... But I don’t even care.”

After the game, fans poured out onto the streets of downtown St. Louis, booming “Gloria” from car stereos, dancing in the streets and honking horns to rally chants of “Let’s go Blues!”

A man who goes by the stage name Drums R’ Terry drummed on buckets to nothing but the song “Gloria” for hours after the game outside Enterprise Center.

He flew from Los Angeles back to St. Louis, where he grew up, to drum outside the arena for the Stanley Cup.

“I wanted to drum the Blues to victory,” he said. “I played all game like a war drum. Now it’s just “Gloria” because that’s what tonight is ... glorious.”

He said fans were tipping better Wednesday than he’s ever seen. The crowd passed by his kit high-fiving as a man on a Lime e-scooter waving a Blues flag rode by.

Dave Leggitt, of Edwardsville, hoisted a homemade Stanley Cup he cobbled together out of cake pans and a mixing bowl outside Enterprise Center an hour after the game.

He watched the game with his wife, Janet Leggitt, and their son Eric in his living room because, he said, “We’ve got to stay in the same spots. Can’t mess with the mojo.”

But they drove as a family to Enterprise Center to see the party.

 “I brought a bottle of champagne we’re going to drink out of this cup,” Dave Leggitt said. “Finally.”

Shortly after the game ended, about eight "shots fired" calls were made to police from locations across the city, and the 911 calls about celebratory gunfire continued in the hour after the win. Fans set off fireworks next to City Hall, and police were called when fireworks were set off near Carondelet Park in South St. Louis. In St. Louis County, University City reported numerous calls about fireworks.

Annika Merrilees, David Carson and Rachel Rice of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

Erin Heffernan is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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