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City hosting free playoff watch parties at North Delta’s Social Heart Plaza

Game 1 of the Canucks’ first-round series against Nashville begins at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 21
Vancouver Canucks players gather at center ice to raise their sticks to the fans after defeating the Calgary Flames in the team’s final regular-season home game on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

The City of Delta will be hosting free viewing parties in North Delta for the duration of the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff run.

Beginning with Game 1 versus the Nashville Predators this Sunday night (April 21, game time 7 p.m.), the city will be putting on free, family-friendly outdoor screenings of every game at the North Delta Social Heart Plaza (11415 84th Avenue).

The playoff viewing parties will be held rain or shine, and attendees are encouraged to bring their friends and family, along with lawn chairs and blankets, “to settle in for an evening of thrilling hockey action and community celebration,” according to a press release.

“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,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.

“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.”

RELATED: Canucks face off against Nashville in first playoff series since 2020

The event came about following a unanimously-endorsed motion by Coun. Dylan Kruger on April 8 “that Delta make plans to host Canucks playoff viewing and celebration areas at appropriate location throughout our community.”

“We don’t know when this will happen again. This is the first time since 2015 that we’ve had home[-ice] playoffs in our community,” Kruger said, speaking to his motion.

Over the years, Canucks fans have taken to gathering at the intersection of Scott Road and 72nd Avenue to celebrate playoff wins, prompting warnings from both the Delta Police Department and Surrey RCMP.

For example, Police estimate between 1,100 and 1,500 pedestrians and hundreds of vehicles took to the area at the Newton-North Delta border the night of Aug. 21, 2020 to celebrate the Canucks’ first round victory over the St. Louis Blues.

“We know that there are often large, unsanctioned when playoffs take place. I think we have an opportunity to harness that, create something really positive for the community,” Kruger said at council last week. “This is a real, hopefully, opportunity for coming together in positive way. I would love Delta to be a part of those celebrations.”

Kruger noted the Canucks organization was already in talks with the City of Vancouver and City of Surrey about hosting similar initiatives.

In an email, city communication director Deanie Wong said the city does not currently have watch parties planned in Ladner or Tsawwassen, but said staff are “working to explore additional options.”

The first two games of Canucks’ first-round series against the Predators will be played at Rogers Arena on April 21 and 23 (puck drops at 7 p.m.), before shifting to Bridgestone Arena for games three and four April 26 (4:30 p.m. start) and April 28 (2 p.m.).

If necessary, Game 5 will be in Vancouver on April 30, Game 6 in Nashville on May 3, and Game 7 in Vancouver on May 5 (start times to be determined).

— with files from Lauren Collins

SEE ALSO: Jets take down Canucks 4-2 as both teams wrap up NHL regular season

James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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