Vancouver police gearing up for Grey Cup festivities

Vancouver police aren’t expecting a replay of any violence similar to the Stanley Cup riot as thousands of football fans converge on the city for Sunday’s Grey Cup game.

VANCOUVER — Vancouver police aren’t expecting a replay of any violence similar to the Stanley Cup riot as thousands of football fans converge on the city for Sunday’s Grey Cup game.

Police spokesman Const. Lindsey Houghton said Thursday that for starters, there won’t be any outdoor screens for people to watch the match between the BC Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

A report on the June riot notes the violence following the final Stanley Cup game resulted partly from tens of thousands of people watching the action between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins on giant screens installed downtown. “It’s a very different event than we saw in the Stanley Cup finals,” Houghton said.

The 99th Grey Cup game will be preceded by various indoor and outdoor events starting Thursday. Extra police officers will be stationed at those events, Houghton said.

“It’s very important to note that all of the events will be shut down before the game starts on Sunday,” he said.

“The Stanley Cup finals was seven games of building up and this is one game on Sunday, at the end of November, not in the middle of June, that will be three hours of hopefully Travis Lulay throwing a lot of touchdown passes to Geroy Simon.”

He said that after the football game, police will be directing traffic as about 50,000 fans exit BC Place Stadium to ensure they get home safely.

But that’s no different than for other big vents, he said.

Houghton said the riot squad won’t be standing by because the city successfully deals with massive crowds downtown for other festivities including Canada Day and fireworks celebrations.