Delta to host playoff community watch party as Canucks face Predators

While the City of Vancouver has no plans to host any community watch parties for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one Metro Vancouver community is planning to do so when the Canucks welcome the Nashville Predators this Sunday.

Delta is hosting fans at Social Heart Plaza starting at 7 p.m. April 21, when the two teams face off for Game 1 of the first round.

“The last time the Canucks were in the playoffs, we couldn’t watch together. Let’s make up for lost time,” the city said in an Instagram post.

The city says the viewing party will be free.

“It’s been nine years since our community has had the opportunity to come together in-person and cheer on the Canucks in the playoffs,” said Mayor George V. Harvie. “We’re thrilled to provide this platform for residents to gather in Delta and show their support for our team. We encourage everyone to join us at Social Heart Plaza and be part of the excitement as we rally behind the Canucks during their playoff journey.”

CIty of Delta Councillor Dylan Kruger says he put the motion to hold the event forth at last week’s city council meeting.

“I think our residents are craving an opportunity to come together and celebrate in a family-friendly environment,” he said.

“I was really pleased that council was supportive of my motion to make that happen.”

The event is being put together on short notice, Kruger says, and for now it involves watching the game on a big-screen TV. But going forward, he says he hopes the watch parties can evolve.

“We’d love to create opportunities to bring some food trucks in there and other opportunities for entertainment,” he said.

“But in the meantime…I think the community is going to be very excited to come together and watch this and have this be a shared experience.”

The city says the watch parties will take place for all games — home and away — rain or shine.

The only other similar event that’s been announced in the region is being hosted by the Canucks for road games. The team started selling tickets Friday to Rogers Arena for Game 3 — when the Canucks will be in Nashville at Bridgestone Arena to face the Preds.

The City of Vancouver confirmed Friday it didn’t have any community watch parties planned for now. In a release, Mayor Ken Sim commended the team for a “great season,” saying, “as a lifelong fan, I’m thrilled to cheer them on as they enter the playoffs.”

“Win or lose, let’s make our home team proud and celebrate every game with the unmatched passion and respect that defines our city. Go Canucks go!” Sim said.

The city is warning people about various road closures on game days, noting traffic disruptions are expected for anyone around Rogers Arena and those heading into or out of downtown Vancouver.

In statements to CityNews, the cities of Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond, Abbotsford, and Coquitlam all said they decided against hosting outdoor watch parties for the first round of the playoffs. They did not provide a reason for their decisions.

With files from Renee Bernard and Emma Crawford.

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