The first playoff game the Edmonton Oilers have played in over a decade will get underway Wednesday and Whyte Avenue is preparing.
Murray Davison, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association explained it has been quite some time since there have been big playoff parties on Whyte Avenue.
“The culture and everything on Whyte Avenue has changed a little bit, we’re more focused on the food and gastro-pub approach but yes, we’re still anticipating a lot of fans and people out watching,” explained Davison said.
“Police, EPS and everyone is ready for things that could happen.”
He said right now, they feel prepared.
“I think with the investment we’ve made in tree lighting, the sidewalk patios are a great example, we’re going to have a lot of vibrancy on the street already and we think everybody will stay respectful and it should stay pretty cool,” explained Davison. “Maybe no need to shut the street down but I’m sure that’s in the plans if they have to do it.”
Davison added, this is the first playoffs the Oilers have been in where Whyte Avenue has had the extended patios, although they won’t open until May.
“Since we’ve put this program in place, they haven’t made the playoffs so we haven’t really seen that,” explained Davison.
“I’m sure some of them will be creative and try to show the games outside (on patios) if at all possible.”
He added, hopefully the playoff run makes it to when those patios open.
Davison said he expects lots of Edmontonians will head down to Whyte during the playoffs but there will also be a lot of people heading downtown to the Ice District to be near Rogers Place.
Edmonton Oilers host the San Jose Sharks in game one of the series Wednesday night.
You can hear all the action live, starting with the Faceoff show, at 6 p.m. on 630 CHED. (twd)