Denver Police ask Colorado Avalanche celebrations remain peaceful

When* the Colorado Avalanche hoist the Stanley Cup on Friday night, many Coloradans will also hoist their own celebratory trophies.

Denver police are only asking that folks raising their adult drinks stay away from steering wheels, and that all revelers keep their euphoria more celebratory and less riotous.

“While this is an exciting time for the Mile High City, as seen with previous championship victories, the positive experience of victory can quickly turn negative as celebrations turn to devastation,” the department said in a press release. “Fans are asked to celebrate in a controlled manner and not to spoil the team’s performance with illegal acts.”

To get the message across, Gov. Jared Polis, analyst and former Avalanche player Mark Rycroft and others released video statements encouraging people to celebrate responsibly. (The videos also featured mascot Bernie the St. Bernard waving a sign that read “Keep out of the penalty area”; the previous mascot, Howler the Yeti, was placed in a permanent penalty area after allegedly got into a fight with a rival fan in 1999, according to 9News.)

After the Broncos’ 2016 victory in Super Bowl 50 — the most recent championship by a Denver pro sports team — law enforcement closed several downtown streets and closed several freeway exits. The fans danced and sang for hours afterwards.

Some officers also eventually donned riot gear and used pepper spray and pepper balls to disperse the crowds. More than a dozen people were arrested. Alleged crimes included trespassing, throwing objects at police officers, setting fires and criminal mischief, according to news reports at the time. Damage includes a police cruiser window shattering and trash cans and patio furniture tipping over at the 16th Street Mall.

Officers would eventually don riot gear and use pepper spray and pepper balls to disperse crowds. A police spokesman said afterwards that “things were going pretty well overall” but “there were a handful of people who were a bit recalcitrant”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.