The puck will drop on the Calgary Flames’ first playoff game of the 2022 NHL post-season Tuesday night, and while fans are ready to go out and celebrate, the city and its police force are asking people to do so safely.
“Calgary is a very unique place in the sense that we have great fans, we have great citizens and — for the most part — we have had several successful playoffs down on 17 Avenue,” said District 1 Insp. Clare Smart with the Calgary Police Service.
“But participants who come downtown to celebrate are asked to be respectful and mindful of potential impacts on (the) surrounding community and businesses.”
Businesses on the Red Mile, a stretch of bars and restaurants along 17 Avenue in downtown Calgary, are gearing up for large crowds and loud fans over the next few weeks — and, according to police, an increased presence of officers in the area.
“Many people are excited about this, celebrating and getting together as a city,” Smart said.
“We will continue to gauge that and see if that behaviour does change, and if that’s the case, we will have to implement certain measures and maybe scale up our resources.”
Smart said peace officers will be around the area, ensuring the public is celebrating safely and respectfully. They will also be enforcing several bylaws, including no alcohol outside of licensed establishments and no public consumption of cannabis.
“Parking bans will be in effect for every home game from 7 p.m. onwards along 17 (Avenue), so please ensure your vehicles are moved before they go into effect,” Smart said, adding that periodic road closures may also occur and there will be “zero tolerance for honking.”
CPS is also reminding Calgarians of several other rules that remain in place throughout the playoffs, including with regard to littering, noise and public behaviour bylaws that prohibit fighting, defecating, urinating, spitting or loitering in a public place. Fines for violations of these regulations range between $50 and $300.
In a news release issued Monday, the City of Calgary detailed its Round 1 playoff preparations, noting it will be adding extra transit to help support local demand.
“We remind anyone taking Calgary Transit that provincial rules still require you to wear face coverings while riding with us,” the news release said.
The Flames square off in Round 1 of their playoff run against the Dallas Stars at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.