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.