Edmonton Oilers fans getting pumped for playoffs: ‘It’s going to be so electrifying’

Click to play video: 'Downtown prepares for Edmonton Oilers playoff run'
Downtown prepares for Edmonton Oilers playoff run
From restaurants to bars, and the Ice District and beyond, downtown Edmonton is already planning for thousands of Oilers fans decked out in orange and blue to flood the area to cheer on the home team in the 2024 playoffs. Sarah Ryan reports – Apr 15, 2024

The NHL playoffs start on Saturday and Edmonton Oilers fans, businesses and the team itself are gearing up for what’s hoped to be a long post-season.

The Oilers have clinched home-ice advantage in the first round, but it’s not yet known who they will face or when they will play their first game. As fans anxiously await the release of the official playoff schedule, excitement around the team is building.

“It’s going to be so electrifying in the playoffs. It’s going to be amazing,” said 10-year-old Oilers fan Lorenzo Zaniol, who was in Edmonton from Jasper to catch Monday night’s home game against the San Jose Sharks.

An Oilers fan through and through, he goes out of his way to support his team.

“We have some Calgary fans, Oilers fans and non-hockey fans,” he said of people at his school.

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“I wear my jersey and do whatever I can to annoy all the Calgary fans out there that didn’t make it.”

Click to play video: 'Higher Edmonton Oilers playoff ticket prices part of supply-and-demand'
Higher Edmonton Oilers playoff ticket prices part of supply-and-demand

Franco Camminatore is the GM at 1st RND downtown. He said he can already feel the excitement of the playoffs building in the city.

“It’s a great atmosphere. People light up when the Oilers are doing well,” he said.

The restaurant, which is about a 10-minute walk from Rogers Place, is already getting phone calls from fans wanting to make reservations to watch the Oilers playoff games.

“It’s the busiest time of year. It’s like Christmas. People are just happier when the Oilers are in the playoffs and the city just comes to life,” Camminatore said.

Edmonton Oilers playoffs preparations are underway at 1st RND in downtown Edmonton. Global News

The establishment, which touts itself as a place for burgers, beer and sports, will have game-day giveaways, including T-shirts and game-day tickets.

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“We just try to create the best game-day atmosphere that you can get without actually going to the game,” Camminatore said.

Reservations will be “very necessary,” according to Camminatore, given the amount of people wanting to get out and cheer on their team.

“Especially the first few games, people are going to be lining up to get a table and to sit in front of a big TV,” he said.

The Oilers Entertainment Group said the plaza and fan park will be open again this year for people to cheer on the Oilers outside of Rogers Place. Away-game watch parties inside Rogers Place will also be back this season. Tickets will be $5, with the proceeds going to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

“Our goal is to provide as many opportunities in a safe, friendly environment for Oilers fans to come down, celebrate with their fellow fans – hopefully a lot of Oilers victories during the course of the spring,” said Stew MacDonald, president and CRO, OEG Sports and Entertainment.

Preparations are underway at the plaza outside Rogers Place ahead of the Edmonton Oilers post-season. Monday, April 15, 2024. Global News

MacDonald said OEG is hoping to pick up right where it left off at the end of last year’s post-season.

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“The one thing we know, there’s no better place to be in the National Hockey League playoff time than right here in Ice District. Our fans continue to make this the coolest place to experience Oilers hockey at playoff time, whether it’s a home game or a road game.”

The Oilers have three regular season games left – facing the San Jose Sharks at home Monday night, playing the Coyotes in Arizona on Wednesday and the Avalanche in Colorado on Thursday.

Earlier Monday, Oilers captain Connor McDavid announced he will be in the lineup Monday night against the Sharks. He missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.

Click to play video: 'Connor McDavid back in Edmonton Oilers lineup'
Connor McDavid back in Edmonton Oilers lineup

For the entire first round of the playoffs, the Oilers 50/50 proceeds will go towards the Alberta Fights Cancer raffle. The money will benefit the Kids with Cancer Society, Ben Stelter Foundation and Alberta Cancer Foundation.

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Tickets for the 50/50 raffle can be purchased on the Edmonton Oilers website.

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