Photo: pobrecito33 via Flickr
BOSTON (AP) — The city of Boston is taking extra precautions as it prepares for possible revelry after the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday.The Boston Bruins are in Vancouver to take on the Canucks, but Boston police are deploying hundreds of extra officers to patrol the streets around TD Garden and Fenway Park, neighborhoods with dozens of sports bars where fans congregate. State police and transit police are also beefing up their presence.
Raucous celebrations after big wins by the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics in the past seven years have resulted in three deaths and widespread vandalism.
The city and police have learned from those tragedies, Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said.
The city banned on-street parking around the Garden and Fenway from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and urged fans to use public transportation.
Bars are being asked to take in or secure outdoor furniture, black out windows to prevent crowds from gathering outside to watch the TVs inside, and not admit any customers after the end of the game’s second period.
“The Boston Police Department wants to ensure that everybody celebrates responsibly and wants to create an environment that is peaceful and without incident,” Driscoll said.
After consulting with police, the Bruins also decided against holding a viewing party for as many as 15,000 fans in the TD Garden. Police and arena officials said there was just not enough time to properly coordinate the event.
During Patriots Super Bowl celebrations in February 2004, James Grabowski, 21, was killed after being struck by a vehicle.
That October, college student Victoria Snelgrove, 21, died after being hit in the eye by a pepper pellet fired by police while celebrating the Red Sox victory over the New York Yankees in game 7 of the American League Championship Series.
David Woodman, a 22-year-old college student, died 11 days after he stopped breathing while in police custody during Celtics championship celebrations in June 2008. He had a pre-existing heart condition.
The city paid out multimillion-dollar settlements in the latter two cases.
“Tomorrow we want everybody talking about what happened on the ice, not what happened after,” Driscoll said.
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