DENVER — What a night for hockey in the Mile High City. The Avs are now up 1-0 in the Stanley Cup Final after an electrifying overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night.
Both Ball Arena and the Tivoli Quad watch party, the official watch party of the NHL, were packed. The official count – 5,600 fans passing through the gates at the Tivoli Quad. Organizers are expecting 10,000 this weekend for Game 2, which is the max capacity for the Quad.
Organizers say the biggest issue from Wednesday night’s watch party was some confusion among fans about how to enter. There is only one entrance for safety and security purposes, and it sits at the southwest corner of the Tivoli Quad at the intersection of 10th Street and Larimer.
“Basically, just look for the huge flag poles and go there,” said one officer.
Crews are also adding more signage Thursday, including huge Stanley Cup Final banners on the stage at the front of the Quad.
Stage supervisor Bill Huff with Production Services International says they didn’t have a single issue with unruly fans.
“Colorado’s representing us very well,” Huff said. “Last night was electric, tons of people here and a great atmosphere. I would call it a perfect night.”
“The watch party last night was a tremendous success,” said Auraria Campus CEO Colleen Walker.
While it was a success, Walkers says there were some long lines at the beer and drink tents, so they’ll be beefing up staff to accommodate this weekend’s crowd.
“We want to ensure the fan experience is the best it can be, and so we are entirely focused on serving their needs,” Walker said. “We will have water, soda, beer. There were a few lines, so we’re actually going to double our team that’s going to support our fans on Saturday.”
The Denver Police Department will also be increasing patrols around Ball Arena and the Tivoli Quad this Saturday.
The idea this weekend is to work on perfecting what’s already been a success, including the addition of a concert by American DJ Griz starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Gates will open at 3 p.m., an hour earlier than Wednesday night’s watch party.
“The NHL is putting on a free concert right here on the Tivoli Quad before the watch party,” Walker said. “This is the perfect spot in city to host Stanley Cup Final.”