The Vancouver Canucks lost their third chance to hoist the Stanley Cup on Wednesday night. The City of Vancouver, and the Metro Vancouver region, lost a reputation.
The last time the Canucks lost in the Stanley Cup final, back in 1994, there was a riot in downtown Vancouver. One person suffered serious injuries, store windows were broken and thousands were caught up in mischief and mayhem.
The 1994 riot was one reason that the security budget for the 2010 Winter Olympics was so large — organizers and all three levels of government did not want a repeat.
The day after the Olympics began last February, a group of anarchists known as “the Black bloc” broke store windows and frightened visitors. Reprisals were swift and security was noticeably stepped up.
From that point on, the Olympics became a wonderful, peaceful event, with thousands of people on the streets day and night, and almost no incidents. When the Canadian men’s hockey team won the gold medal in the final event of the Games, there was celebration and no trouble.
Perhaps that fooled Vancouver Police. On all the previous evenings, with Canucks’ games televised for huge crowds on the streets, things were peaceful. There were minimal problems
However, the game wasn’t even over before trouble began. All the carefully-built improvement to the reputation of the city and region was destroyed, and millions of dollars in damage was incurred.
Some lawbreakers will be punished, but the reputation of Metro Vancouver will remain tarnished for a long time to come.