Skip to content

'Celebrate responsibly': Police monitoring public drinking during Canucks playoff game

Vancouver police officers will be approaching people who have open liquor.

As people get ready to convene in Vancouver for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, police officers are preparing for more people in the city.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is celebrating fans' behaviour after the Vancouver Canucks took Game 1 against the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

“The success that we saw off the ice on Sunday night with the fans, really shows what we can do collectively as a city as a group of fans,” says Sgt. Steve Addison.

However, there's one thing police are not celebrating from Sunday's affair. 

“We're a little bit concerned with the amount of liquor that we did see on Sunday, people walking around the venue and walking to the venue. We want to make sure that we set that tone now, early in the playoffs,” says Addison.

He says officers will be approaching people who have open liquor. 

“We have lots of police officers deployed to work this afternoon, this evening and into the night,” says Addison.

Officers will be working inside and outside of Rogers Arena, and in downtown. Addison says he’s confident they have enough officers to make sure there is a safe environment.

“Most importantly, celebrate responsibly,” he says.

Const. Ken Usipiuk with Metro Vancouver Transit Police also echos VPD and wants people to celebrate and feel safe.

“We want to have a safe evening. It's going to be busy. This is the first time in like nine years since we've had playoffs. So we just want the crowds to have fun,” he says.

There is no alcohol and smoking allowed while using SkyTrains and the transit system.

“In 2011, a lot of the challenges that we faced, a lot of the violence and disorder, was alcohol-fuelled and that is the main reason why we're very insistent that we set that tone early in this playoff run,” he says.

A select number of officers will also have new technology that was not available in during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup riot.

“We have officers who do have body cameras and we know that video evidence is key when we're solving crimes,” says Addison. “That’s certainly something that we have that was a takeaway from 2011.”

Surrey RCMP and Delta Police Department also announced on Tuesday they will be increasing police patrols and enforcement during the Vancouver Canucks playoff season.

Sgt. Tammy Lobb with Surrey RCMP says this is a special time of the year when fans gather to cheer on the Canucks and "we want to ensure fans celebrate safely."

“Additional officers will be in the area maintaining public safety and there will be a focus on targeting drivers who are street racing, stunting and driving dangerously,” says Lobb.

The intersection of 72 Avenue and 120 Street will be closed to vehicles if necessary for public safety.