DENVER — With Colorado Avalanche fans in a fervor, buzzing with excitement for Friday's Stanley Final game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Denver police talked about their prep work to manage large downtown crowds, heavy traffic and any safety issues that happen on game day.
The Avs lead the series 3-1, with a Cup win in sight. DPD Chief Paul Pazen took a proactive approach to remind fans to "stay classy" and not overconsume alcohol or marijuana, make a plan for safe game-day transportation like using a ride share and be patient.
"We've been here before. We've won the Cup before. We've won championships before, and the best way to do that is to stay classy and show our support for our team and do it in a responsible way," Pazen said.
Pazen said fans have celebrated together in past championship wins with thousands of people in the downtown area who have showed the right way to celebrate.
DPD reminded fans in a Thursday news conference that the city has seen its share of destruction after past championship wins, referencing the Avalanche's 2001 Stanley Cup win.
"The positive experience of the win can quickly become negative when celebrations turn to destruction. Fans are asked to celebrate in a controlled manner and not tarnish the team’s accomplishments with illegal acts," Pazen said.
Pazen said police will partner with additional resources and staffing from local, state and federal agencies to help control crowds and safety issues on game day.
There will be street closures to assist the large crowds and heavy traffic in leaving the downtown area after the game.
Downtown residents were warned that the game may cause limited access with road closures. People who want to avoid the large crowds were warned to avoid the area.
Police encouraged fans to report any suspicious behavior as they celebrate in the downtown area.
"This is a proactive message to our community that we can do this responsibly. We can do it safely. We can stay out of the penalty box. We can show the country we know how to celebrate," Pazen said. "I want to give credit to the Colorado Avalanche fans. We've had four games, three wins. We've had a great season already and the fans of Colorado have demonstrated we know how to do this the right way."
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