NEWS

Vancouver riot redux? Police prepared for post-game violence

04/23/2015 07:36 EDT | Updated 07/21/2015 09:59 EDT
Vancouver Police say they will be ready for any eventuality at tonight's do-or-die game between the Canucks and the Calgary Flames.

Const. Brian Montague says they will have uniformed and plain clothes officers inside and outside Rogers Arena, and troublemakers should not assume that just because they can't see an officer, one is not standing right next to them.

"There's a very good likelihood that there will be officers that you don't see as well," he says.

"The police aren't always in uniforms and they aren't always visible ... while we will have a very visible presence, it's not necessarily the police officers you do see; it's the ones that you don't that you really have to think about."

Montague says when alcohol is part of the mix, it's not uncommon for fights to break out amongst fans, noting there was a post-game brawl inside Rogers Arena the last two times these teams met.

The Canucks have also posted a video on their team website urging fans to celebrate or commiserate responsibly.

Riot unlikely

Beyond a few fights, the threat of a widespread riot like the one that famously erupted on the streets of Vancouver after the Canuck's lost game seven of the final round of the playoffs to Boston in June 2011 seems very unlikely.

On that night in June there were more than 100,000 people of the streets of downtown Vancouver to watch the game — which was in Boston — on giant outdoor screens, and many had been drinking for much of the afternoon. 

In contrast, for tonight's game in Vancouver, the weather is cool and wet, keeping most people off the streets.

Vancouver Canucks fans also rioted when the team lost in game seven in the final round of the playoffs in 1994 to the New York Rangers.

In fact, the only time fans have rioted have been following Game 7 losses

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