DENVER — Anticipation is building as Avalanche fans are looking forward to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, while watch party organizers and Denver's Regional Transportation District are getting ready for huge crowds Friday night.
Tivoli Brewing Company estimated 7,000 to 8,000 fans filled the Tivoli Quad during Game 4 Wednesday, and they’re expecting a couple thousand more on Friday night.
"We're making sure that everything's staged and ready to go,” said Andrew Chafin, general manager and head brewer for Tivoli. “We’re expecting the biggest crowd that we’ve ever seen here out on the quad, and it’s going to be insane because it can be a decision game in the Stanley Cup."
With beer trailers and the watch party stage standing at the ready, Tivoli staff are preparing for a massive crowd of Avs fans.
"I can't even imagine a time that Tivoli's had this kind of exposure or this area has been used and hosted this many people," Chafin said.
"I am 100% an Avs fan," he said. "I'm originally from Florida and so people were actually asking me if I was rooting for Tampa Bay and absolutely no way. To be the head brewer at a place like Tivoli and being right next door to where the Avalanche play, they’ve completely won me over in the last two years.”
He said he can't wait for Game 5, even though these watch parties have required days of planning and logistics.
"Craft beer is one of those beautiful things that we can share and come together and watch a hockey game, so what's better than having that experience?" Chafin said. "We just feel honored to be able to host this kind of event, for Denver, for the fans."
If you're a fan heading to a watch party or Ball Arena, RTD said it will be ready.
"We are expanding our light rail capacity on the E and the W lines in preparation for the influx of people coming down to Ball Arena and the watch parties," RTD spokesperson Brandon Figliolino said. “We’re just adding train capacity and not extra runs. We’re able to maintain the staffing levels that we do have, but we are really excited to be adding those extra train cars and we’re working very hard with our staff to make sure we have the staff available and ready to run the routes.”
He said they're expecting more riders and telling them to come prepared.
"I am encouraging everybody to sign up for our service alerts on our website just in the event that there is a change in the schedule that way you'll be notified via text or email," Figliolino said.
He said riders can also download the mobile ticketing app to avoid long lines for paper tickets.
“I would also encourage folks to download the RTD Transit Watch app," Figlioline said. "It allows you to report unsafe conditions discreetly to our transit police."
If you're taking RTD Friday night, don't worry if the game goes into overtime. Figliolino said trains will be running late into the night. The last rides on the E and W lines are at 1:54 a.m. and 1:58 a.m.
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