Riot police
The Vancouver riots were contained by police after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup finals, and fans of the Vancouver Canucks went crazy after losing the championship on home turf. Riots broke out after the loss in the seventh game as fans ran rampant, setting fires and turning over cars.

Angry fans torch cars and loot stores after loss

The Stanley Cup finals are always a source of tension and cause for heartbreak or frustration for fans of the team that loses. The championship ultimately led to rioting in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, after the Vancouver Canucks lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins, according to CNN. As frustrated fans, mostly young men who were likely intoxicated, exited Rogers Arena, mere agitation gave way to rioting as people began turning over cars, setting fires and looting stores. The hockey riots were called “shameful and disgraceful” by Gregory Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Police quell riots

As the riots progressed throughout the night, people looted stores throughout downtown Vancouver. Women participating in the riot, according to NBC Sports, ran rampant through Bay, Burberry and Coach stores, stealing merchandise en masse. The total damage hasn’t been assessed yet, but there are reports of at least four stabbings. The number of people in downtown Vancouver was estimated to be about 2,000, and they still did some serious damage in the four hours of rioting. Six police cars were set on fire, along with other vehicles belonging to civilians. Reports indicate that the riots were instigated by people who simply wanted to riot. A few Boston fans took their celebrations too far, and seven arrests were made in Boston that related to the Bruins’ win, according to the Boston Herald. Henrik Sedin, captain of the Vancouver Canucks, said the rioting was “terrible.”

Grim specter of 1994

The last time the Vancouver Canucks were in the Stanley Cup finals, in 1994, fans rioted when the result of the series didn’t go the Canucks’ way. After the Canucks were defeated by the New York Rangers in Game Seven, more than 50,000 people filled downtown Vancouver, according to Wikipedia, and went on a rampage. More than $1 million Canadian in damage was done, and nearly 200 people were hospitalized. The most recent instance of rioting is estimated to be worse in terms of damage, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Vancouver police resorted to reading the riot act. The Riot Act exists in Commonwealth Countries, ordering rioters to disperse in the name of the queen or face imprisonment. More than 140 people were treated in Vancouver hospitals with injuries.



NBC Sports:

Vancouver Sun:

Boston Herald:

Wikipedia on 1994 Stanley Cup riot:


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