Earlier this afternoon, local press were invited to listen in on the City of Vancouver’s plan of attack for the upcoming Stanley Cup playoff run. Mayor Gregor Robertson was joined by Vancouver Deputy Chief Doug LePard and John Furlong, co-author of 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs review.
Throughout the 45 minute session, key elements were brought to the forefront:
- Vancouver will celebrate this year’s run to the Stanley Cup responsibly
- The downtown core will not hold major parties and game viewing events
- A strategic event planner will be retained in order to bring this year’s plan into use, serving as a template for future events in coming years
- Holding small community events around the city that will respect the diversity of each neighbourhood, encouraging family fun and alcohol-free celebrations
VPD Chief Doug LePard added that regional police as well as local police agencies will be leveraged, and be prepared to deal with problems across the Lower Mainland. All units will be part of the solution (or in this case, avoiding last year’s problem).
To help curb potential riots, Transit Police will screen for alcohol at Skytrain stations both inside and outside the downtown core. The City is taking active steps to avoid young people from coming downtown with alcohol during the playoffs.
All partners part of the plan will take matters into account, while giving the public a chance to have a great time and celebrate The Canucks playoff season. Social media will become more proactive, according to Mayor Robertson. “There is no anonymity.”
According to John Furlong, “The experience of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games left no doubt that Vancouver is a world-class city for hosting big events. The lessons learned from the 2010 Games, the Grey Cup and last year’s Canuck playoff run have helped inspire a comprehensive, thoughtful, and diligent plan for this year’s playoffs. The plan is ambitious and reaches further than the recommendations that Doug Keefe and I put forward in our report. This kind of planning is no easy task and the partners are to be commended for their hard work in making this happen. The collaboration has been impressive. With public support, these plans should ensure a wonderful, happy playoff season and hopefully, one that ends with the Stanley Cup for all of us.”
Mayor Robertson challenged every one of us to be responsible for our actions, whether it be this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, or any future citywide events that come our way. The City of Vancouver wants to give its citizens the chance to celebrate in their own neighbourhoods. The downtown core will no longer serve as the focal point of the playoffs.
The Vancouver Canucks Sports and Entertainment organization will be unveiling a plan of action to celebrate the playoffs. Starting tomorrow, they’ll kick off their “This is Our Home” campaign, an initiative of their strategists as well as the City of Vancouver’s.
It will be interesting to see how Vancouver takes in both the parties and city plans. Hopefully we can make it to the Cup and win it without last year’s “toxic soup”, a term used repeatedly by VPD Chief LePard during the press briefing.