Posted by: Heather Forbes | June 1, 2011

Canucks 2011: Cops, Costs, and Caution

Canucks fans celebrate - photo by Guilhem Vellut from Wikimedia Commons

Canucks fans celebrate on Granville Street - Photo by Guilhem Vellut from Wikimedia Commons

Hoorah, Vancouver! If you haven’t heard, the Canucks have reached the Stanley Cup Final. While the boys rest and prepare for a matchup with the Boston Bruins, lots of people are probably daydreaming about what reaching the final for the first time in 17 years means. Another thing to wonder about while the giddiness of a playoff run has momentarily subsided: what is this costing us?

I don’t mean cost in terms of how much hair we’ve pulled out, or the beating some livers have endured over the past few weeks, but how much money is being spent on policing the crowds that Lord Stanley brings out.

According to reports, if the Canucks take it all the way (and of course they will), the total policing costs are estimated to reach $650,000.

That buys a lot of commemorative towels.

When the Canucks lost in Game 7 of the 1994 final, rioters did $1 million in damage, with 200 people injured and over 150 charged as a result. It was an ugly end to the series, and just one of a string of destructive riots in Vancouver’s history. Michael Barnholden has even written a great book on the subject: Reading the Riot Act, which I highly recommend.

Of course we don’t need to look too far back in our city’s history to recall a night where hockey brought out the crowds and the cops. During the high stakes hockey games of the Olympics, Vancouver police employed what Police Chief Jim Chu described as a “meet and greet” strategy. He says the high visibility of police on the street kept the crowds from getting out of hand and that the same tactic will be used during the Stanley Cup Final.

Go out, be merry, be safe. Please don’t smash anything. And remember, thousands of dollars worth of policing will be out there beside you, win or lose.

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Responses

  1. Now that the Stanley Cup Riot or “Robertson’s Riot” has taken place, and a few weeks gone by and lots of analysis have been published, the questions that will be of interest to VPSN are many.

    Just for one example, see Mike Klassen’s attack on CityCaucus.com:

    http://www.citycaucus.com/2011/06/robertsons-riot-has-gregor-bitten-off-more-than-he-can-chu

    Basically, as a major component of Klassen’s campaign for a Vancouver City Council seat as an NPA candidate, he is putting forward the point that Gregor Robertson’s twin obsessions with changing Vancouver’s image as “no fun city”, and his car-free green city initiatives were what caused the riot.

    What do you think?


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