Morning Buzz: No Fun City 2.0 or Just Smart Planning?

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gigapixelstanley

The photo above is a gigapixel photo, so before you proceed to read click this link to an interactive gigapixel photo and zoom in to see yourself, strangers and other Canucks fans before the riot. Creepy.

Yesterday the City of Vancouver announced their grand plan for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs (by the way round 1 tickets go on sale this Saturday) and it polarized the people of the lower mainland. The biggest disappointment was the lack of downtown celebrations. That’s right, no viewing parties downtown but there will be viewing parties held in community centres  across the city. Some see it as a pathetic cop out from our beloved mayor. Others see it as prudent planning. I would’ve like to see celebrations at BC Place but something is better than nothing, right? Perhaps in future rounds.

Here is what Mayor Robertson had to say via press release:

Mayor Robertson made the following statement today at a media briefing on coordinated planning for Stanley Cup playoff preparations:

Today the City of Vancouver and our partners are providing an update on our plan to organize fun, responsible playoff celebrations for Canuck fans of all ages this spring

I believe this year’s plan for the playoffs strikes the right balance between encouraging Canuck fans to celebrate and support local businesses, while incorporating the lessons learned from last year’s public events.

The changes we have made and the plans we’re putting forward have been in the works for many months, and they build on the recommendations of the independent review conducted by John Furlong and Doug O’Keefe, as well as reports by City staff, the VPD, and the Ottawa police.

And I want to thank John for offering up his time to review this year’s plans, and join us here today to share his thoughts.

We’ve been working hard to ensure that the lessons we all learned from last year’s Game 7 are reflected in well-integrated plans for a safe and positive celebration in 2012.

This year’s plan reaches above and beyond those lessons to ensure we celebrate this Stanley Cup run in a fun and safe way that reflects the true character, values, and pride of Canucks fans from Vancouver and across our region.

We’re focusing on neighbourhood celebrations, with fun, family-oriented events throughout the city.

With our partners at the DVBIA, we’re encouraging people to support downtown businesses, and come downtown to celebrate responsibly.

And if the Canucks go the distance – which we’re all hoping they do – we’re prepared to scale up our plans, and to have Rogers Arena open for away games — I think the Canucks are planning this themselves.

I really want to recognize the tremendous amount of effort and collaboration from so many different stakeholders, many of whom are joining us today:

  • VPD + VFSR
  • TransLink
  • DVBIA
  • The Canucks
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • BC Ambulance Service
  • E-Comm
  • Emergency Management BC
  • Liquor Control and Licensing

Thanks to all of you for working with us, sharing your expertise, resources and knowledge to put this year’s plans in place.

If there was one clear takeaway from John’s report last year, it was the absolute necessity of having all stakeholders working and collaborating together – and I’m pleased that this goal is shared by all of our partner organizations.

I’m confident that this year won’t just be the best playoff run for the Canucks, but it’ll be the best-ever run for the City as well.

Thank you

Obviously this was not an easy decision to make but the end result is a watered down attempt for playoff celebrations. Furthermore, this will not stop people from celebrating downtown. There are 100,000 people living there, thousands more will pack bars, clubs, restaurants and when the game is done they will not head home. They will celebrate and once again Robson/Granville will become the focal point. That means the mayor better have a policing plan in place.

It’s sad that out of the 100,000 plus people that were downtown for game 7 and enjoyed the experience (as much as they could considering we lost) won’t be able to relive it because the 1% ruined it for the rest of us. Kind of like a reverse occupy movement…time to Occupy the Playoffs? Kidding.

This is Vancouver, it is the heart of the region, it is the business, cultural and sports capital of BC and by not having any celebrations downtown we are sending the message of No Fun City once again. The Olympics came and went and we seem to be reverting back to our old ways. I won’t go as far and call us a No Fun City just yet but the VIVA Vancouver and summer festivals must prove me and every other Vancouverite wrong.

The Canucks also put out a video that resonates well with Vancouverites and are asking people to enjoy the playoffs responsibly. However, where’s the diversity of our city in this video? 😉

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