Traffic will be restricted on 104 Avenue between 101 Street and 105 Street. While Edmonton police say the plan was floated following the Edmonton Oilers’ playoff run in the spring, this weekend’s events fast-tracked the idea.
“This event on the weekend, we can’t deny, has brought that discussion forward much more quickly,” Insp. Regan James said Monday. “Tonight is a great opportunity – we have a concert tonight – to test trial that traffic plan.”
Kevin Kobi, director of events with Rogers Place, said blockades will be put in place at around 10:30 p.m., before the end of the concert.
“We’ve done it for Garth Brooks… and we’ve toyed with it for other events and tonight, this week is an opportunity that we’re also going to assess it and meter the amount of traffic that’s coming in and around the venue,” he said, adding the restricted access may also be in place on Wednesday night for the Edmonton Oilers’ season opener.
“We’re going to reassess it with the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and we’ll make a final decision on whether or not we’re going to do it for the game on Wednesday.”
On Saturday night, Const. Mike Chernyk was run down by a vehicle and stabbed. Four pedestrians were also injured later Saturday evening after they were hit by a U-Haul van in the downtown core.
READ MORE: Who are the victims in Edmonton attacks?
The series of events began Saturday night outside Commonwealth Stadium, where more than 30,000 people were gathered for the Edmonton Eskimos’ game. Chernyk, 48, was conducting a roadblock during the football game.
Watch below: Ongoing Global News coverage of the Edmonton attacks
During all major events, Edmonton police work with city officials and event staff to coordinate security efforts. The EPS is reviewing Saturday night’s events outside Commonwealth Stadium, but officers admit there might not be much that could have been done differently.
“We’ll action that if we determine there was something that we could have done differently. But unfortunately, this may be a situation where it is just something that occurred. We’re out there, we’re highly visible and unfortunately we’re a target in some cases,” James said.
“This is an event that has stimulated some very robust discussions around what that looks like in the coming years. It’s a changing society, unfortunately.”
“As any major sports event, we have operational plans in place all the time,” EPS Insp. Carlos Cordoso said. “As unfortunate as the incident was, I believe the plans in place right now are effective and there will certainly be a review after this to see if we could do things differently, but I do believe what we have in place right now is working quite well.”
The City of Edmonton said it is also reviewing the incident.
“Given the events of this weekend, we’re certainly regrouping to take a look at all of our plans and our facilities just to make sure that when people are gathering, we’re doing everything we can to make sure they’re safe,” said Roger Jevne, branch manager of Community and Recreation Facilities with the City of Edmonton.
“There’s good systems in place, it’s just that diligence to constantly review them.”
Kobi said Rogers Place regroups after every event to discuss what went well and where they can improve, in terms of security. While security procedures inside the arena will not change on Monday night, Kobi said it’s an ongoing discussion.
“As a venue operator, you have to continually assess what’s going on around the world, you also have to continually assess what’s going on in your venue,” he said.
DATS vehicles will still be able to access the front of the arena for passenger pickup, Kobi said. Edmonton police said if the traffic restrictions work well, they could be put in place after all games and events at Rogers Place.
Watch below: After a pair of vehicle attacks in Edmonton and a mass shooting in Las Vegas, security is on everyone’s mind these days. As Gord Steinke explains, Rogers Place says they’re well prepared ahead of Wednesday night’s Battle of Alberta, the Oilers’ first home game of the season.