Picture it: Canucks win the next round and head to the finals
Vancouver, you've waited far too long for this moment to arrive. For the first time in seventeen years your team is going to the NHL semi-finals. Now how are we going to celebrate with class?
The obvious comparison is the 2010 Games. VANOC and the host cities prepared for everything except one crucial piece – it almost forgot to invite local citizens to participate as well. Thankfully the public twigged onto "where to be for free", and Vancouver's Olympics will go down as the most successful winter games when it came to local participation.
Will Vancouver finally win the Stanley Cup? Some predict that it's destined to happen. Canada's two previous Olympic hosts – Montreal in '76 and Calgary in '88 – both had their teams win the Cup in the season following their Games. Vancouver hosts the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it must win the 2011 Stanley Cup.
How will Vancouver mark the occasion? Mayor Gregor says call his office if you know where the public might gather. But with this cool "Mayvember" weather, do we really want to assemble outside for three hours? Our city simply does not have the celebration space, especially since Robson Square is under construction.
I've not spoken with Canucks team owner Francesco Aquilini, but have taken steps to reach his office today. I can't think of any better way to reward Canucks fans than to open up Rogers Arena for away games. As it happens one likely date for an upcoming Canucks away game – May 22nd – does not have anything scheduled.
Rogers Arena would be the ideal gathering spot. For a nominal seat charge – perhaps going as a donation to Canuck Place – fans could assemble under the big jumbotron in the comfort of that stadium.
The only potential stumbling block might be a liquor license for the event, which would allow some beer sales to add some good cheer and cover the cost of holding the event. That's where the power of the Mayor's office really comes in – one signature and the beer taps are allowed to flow.
Another alternative would be to host fan nights at the City-owned Pacific Coliseum, but without rapid transit and proximity to the downtown it's a less attractive option. It could work in a pinch though.
Vancouver, we've waited over forty years to win the NHL championship. The Stanley Cup is deserved by no better team and city than ours. I know that just like the Olympics we can celebrate together with class. Other cities such as Detroit pull the strings for their fans, surely Vancouver can do the same.
Let's start talking now about how we're going to celebrate together, and not miss this opportunity to show our spirit.
- Post by Mike Klassen. Mike is a candidate seeking the council nomination for the Vancouver Non-Partisan Association (NPA). If you're an elected official or candidate seeking a nomination and want to write about urban issues, please send your 450-500 word submission to CityCaucus@gmail.com.