Update: Red Mile game on, as wind blows away hopes of Red Lot action for series opener

The Calgary Stampede Showband held their first pre-game performance on the Red Mile

Disappointed fans stand outside an empty Red Lot after high winds created dangerous conditions on the Stampede Grounds, forcing the Calgary Flames to cancel the outdoor event for fan safety on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Fans were understandably disappointed on Wednesday as the Flames shut down the Red Lot prior to the start of the Battle of Alberta.

High winds and gusts of up to 73 kilometres per hour ripped through the Calgary Stampede Parking lot where the Red Mile has been held.

The Calgary Flames issued a statement saying that they did so out of an abundance of caution for the safety of guests.

“Due to extremely high and damaging winds at Stampede Park the Red Lot Community Viewing Party will unfortunately be cancelled for the evening,” they wrote.

Damage to the Red Lot stage was observed, as the black cloth making up the walls of the stage was torn by the wind.

Some fans took to social media to use the Red Lot closing to make fun of the Edmonton Oilers. While many others posted they had shifted their plans to visit local bars and restaurants on 17 Avenue SW.

Updated plans for fan celebrations at the Saddledome

Due to damage to the Red Lot site, the Flames cancelled the community viewing parties for this weekend.

The Flames said in a media release that they would update fans when the lot would be reopened.

The Saddledome is planned to be opened for Sunday’s game three away game for Calgary Flames fans for a C of Red Family Viewing Party.

Tickets for that event will be made available starting at 9 am on Saturday, May 21.

“We understand that demand for ‘C of Red Family Viewing Party’ tickets will potentially outweigh supply, and would like to reiterate our tremendous gratitude for the extraordinary support of the C of Red,” wrote the Flames.

Red Mile celebrations go ahead

The City of Calgary’s planned pre-game performance plans went ahead along the Red Mile.

The Calgary Stampede Showband braved the wind to put on a roadside show for the patrons along 5 Street SW and 17 Avenue SW.

Pre-show however, the showband proved to be an attraction in itself, as passerbys took the opportunity to photograph the band in their special livery—Calgary Transit busses.

The performance was the first in a series of pre-game activities planned before each home game to take place in the communities surrounding the Saddledome.

“Hockey fans, businesses and Flames players have waited a long time for this kind of electric feeling to be in the air again,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek about the city’s Red Mile plans.

“I’m really pleased with the way The City of Calgary has collaborated to create great experiences for everyone to enjoy during this series.”

The Mayor proclaimed May 18 officially on behalf of the City of Calgary and City Council as the start of the Battle of Alberta.

Photos from the Red Lot and Red Mile

Brianna Moss, left, and William Quinnui pose for a photo on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Members of the Calgary Stampede Showband sit on their Calgary Transit Bus awaiting the start of their first Red Mile performance for the Battle of Alberta on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
The Calgary Stampede Showband puts on a pre-game performance on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Fans walk past the Calgary Stampede Showband on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
The Calgary Stampede Showband puts on a pre-game performance on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Fans get into the spirit as the Calgary Stampede Showband puts on a pre-game performance on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Calgary Police and Bylaw block off 17 Avenue during the Calgary Stampede Showband pre-game performance on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Even the Oilers fans get in on the Calgary spirit as the Calgary Stampede Showband puts on a pre-game performance on the Red Mile on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Disappointed fans stand outside an empty Red Lot after high winds created dangerous conditions on the Stampede Grounds, forcing the Calgary Flames to cancel the outdoor event for fan safety on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
The Red Lot is empty after high winds created dangerous conditions on the Stampede Grounds, forcing the Calgary Flames to cancel the outdoor event for fan safety on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
The Red Lot is empty after high winds created dangerous conditions on the Stampede Grounds, forcing the Calgary Flames to cancel the outdoor event for fan safety on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Even though the Red Lot was closed, it didn’t stop this truck driver from flying the Flames flag proudly, along with some honking, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

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