Since Edmonton hasn’t witnessed NHL playoffs in 11 years, there are some adjustments to be made to accommodate fans, including washroom lineups at Rogers Place.
Oilers fans don’t want to miss any of the action during games, which has resulted in higher-than-normal demand for washrooms during the intermissions.
“It’s an exciting time in Edmonton and obviously an exciting time at Rogers Place,” said Tim Shipton, senior vice president of Oilers Entertainment Group. “What we’re seeing is that building is packed to the rafters with fans… With that many people in the building… that puts pressure on all our systems, concession, obviously washrooms.”
In response, Rogers Place is making some tweaks to its washroom processes for Game 5 on Thursday night.
“We want to tighten up the queuing process, or the lineups, at washrooms, in particular in men’s washrooms,” Shipton said.
“The tighter the queuing, the less time it takes to get through. We think if we can shave, you know, 10 to 15 seconds off per person going to the washroom, that will make a big difference.”
Rogers Place will have guest experience staff on hand to help streamline the lineups throughout the arena. There will also be markers on the floor to let guests know where they can line up.
“One of the challenges we saw of course was the queuing on the main concourse and that actually gave the perception that the lineups were longer than they were,” Shipton said. “We’re going to tighten that whole process up.”
He said Rogers Place wants to get better at everything it does and staff have heard from guests that the washroom lineup issue is one that needs attention.
“For some concerts… we look at flipping washrooms,” Shipton said. “We flip some men’s washrooms to women’s washrooms when we have a larger demographic of one sex or the other and we’ll consider that moving forward for hockey as well.”
There will also be portable washrooms set up in the portal entrance for the Ford Hall Watch Party.
Watch below: Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson speaks to Jack Haskins about his memories of the last time the Oilers made the playoffs, his playoff beard and the city’s support for the team.
The Oilers Entertainment Group isn’t the only organization witnessing the surge of interest in the Oilers and their playoff run.
StubHub has seen a lot of demand for Oilers tickets, especially now that the series is tied 2-2.
“We see it both in our traffic numbers and the prices that they’re going for on the secondary market,” communications manager Cameron Papp said.
According to StubHub, the Oilers are one of the more popular teams. When it comes to sales and traffic, they’re just behind the Leafs and Canadiens.
“In terms of price, they’re one of the more premium events,” Papp said. “I think only behind Toronto, but they’re still more than Montreal and Ottawa right now.
“It really comes down to supply and demand… A lot of people want to go to these games.”
The city is reminding everyone about parking bans and no-stopping zones put in place along sections of Whyte Avenue and Jasper Avenue during games.
No stopping or parking is allowed from 6 p.m. until midnight during all home and away games on Whyte Avenue between Gateway Boulevard and 109 Street and Jasper Avenue between 100 Street and 109 Street.
“Anyone who fails to comply with the parking ban risks having their vehicle ticketed and towed,” the city said in a news release. “Bylaw officers will be patrolling both areas on all game nights.”
Bars and restaurants in both areas are expected to be busy during playoff games and the city wants to make sure vehicle and pedestrian traffic are smooth.
When it was first enacted, the parking and no-stopping zones started at 7 p.m., but starting Thursday, they’ll start at 6 p.m.