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Preparations underway for Calgary Flames playoff run

Click to play video: 'Flames playoff fever hits Calgary’s Red Mile' Flames playoff fever hits Calgary’s Red Mile
Businesses along 17 Avenue in Calgary are ready for the Red Mile to be reignited with preparations well underway for large crowds during the Flames’ playoff run. As Lauren Pullen reports, merchandise is also already flying off store shelves. – Apr 29, 2022

Businesses along 17th Avenue are ready for the Red Mile to be re-ignited. Bars and restaurants bracing for big crowds.

“We’re really excited,” National on 17th general manager Tabitha Tumback said. “We’re expecting a super busy playoff season that will hopefully last for quite a while and maybe bring us pretty close to the Stampede.

“Being busy on those Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, where we don’t usually see most of our traffic I suspect it will be quite helpful.”

Read more: Maples Leafs, Flames, Oilers fans and players fired up for NHL playoffs

Tumback said preparations are already underway to deal with the influx of customers, including hiring more security for crowd control, liaising with Calgary police and bringing on extra staff on game nights.

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Flames merchandise is also flying off shelves, though it’s been in high demand much of the season.

“It’s incredible. The town is buzzing, really excited about the Flames,” Adrenalin Source for Sports manager Tavis MacPhee said. “We here think they’re going to go on a big run, so we’ve been selling lots of jerseys, hats, signed pucks — it’s really exciting.”

Click to play video: 'Calgary Flames gear up for playoffs' Calgary Flames gear up for playoffs
Calgary Flames gear up for playoffs – Apr 29, 2022

He anticipates Flames merchandise sales will increase by upwards of 50 per cent over the playoffs.

“The few years we’ve been operating where they’ve gone deep into the playoffs, it’s just a huge surge in everything,” said MacPhee.

“And we also notice it translates later into youth players wanting to sign up for hockey, and it gets the whole town buzzing about hockey. So, we hope on that for sure.”

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Read more: Calgary Flames defenceman Chris Tanev nominated for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Closer to the Saddledome, the spaces hosting outdoor viewing parties were being set up on Friday, complete with a 20-foot screen and giant goal light.

It will be the first time since 2019 that Flames fans will be able to party on the front steps of their team’s home.

“We have a capacity of 5,000 at any given time, but when people come and they check it out before they head into the game or they come and they stay the whole time,” Dallas Kitt, Flames’ manager of events, said. “And so we can see any upwards of 10,000 people coming through the lot throughout the whole hours of operation.”

Click to play video: '‘It’s a matter of assessing that risk’: Hinshaw offers COVID-19 advice as Alberta NHL teams prepare for playoffs' ‘It’s a matter of assessing that risk’: Hinshaw offers COVID-19 advice as Alberta NHL teams prepare for playoffs
‘It’s a matter of assessing that risk’: Hinshaw offers COVID-19 advice as Alberta NHL teams prepare for playoffs – Apr 27, 2022

Depending on how the final games of the seasons play out, the Flames could face the Nashville Predators or the Dallas Stars to start the Stanley Cup playoffs in early May.

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–with files from Lauren Pullen

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