With the playoffs two days away, Vancouver police are bracing for a celebratory crowd still oozing with excitement over Canada’s Olympic hockey gold.
Police officers will be visible in the downtown core and enforcing liquor laws like they did during the Olympics, Const. Lindsey Houghton said yesterday.
“Anytime you have tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets, if a majority of them are drinking, or some of them are severely intoxicated, unfortunate things can happen to them,” he said.
Houghton added police don’t plan on closing liquor stores early, but certain factors such as crowds, weather and game results will be part of any decision to cut off liquor sales.
One of the recommendations of the commission after the 1994 Stanley Cup riots was that the Vancouver Police Department close liquor stores early.
“We don’t want a repeat of what happened in 1994,” said Houghton. “We think based on what we’ve seen through the Olympics … that we’ve moved on from that.”
Game 1 against the L.A. Kings is on Thursday at GM Place at 7 p.m. on CBC. Game 2 was scheduled for Saturday night, also at The Garage, which forced the Harlem Globetrotters to cancel their event booked for that same evening.
To accommodate Globetrotters fans, a matinee game will take place at the Abbotsford Entertainment Sports Centre on Saturday, in addition to a game already scheduled there for Sunday night.
Fans will receive refunds, and tickets purchased for the Vancouver show will not be valid for the one in Abbotsford.