LAKEVIEW — Even if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, don't expect a repeat of the revelry in 2010 when thousands jammed the Wrigleville streets to celebrate the teams' first championship in nearly a half-century.
Although the first game of the finals is Wednesday night, Town Hall Police District cops are already preparing for what might happen if the Hawks end up winning the whole series against the Boston Bruins. They've laid down some ground rules in hopes of keeping crowds inside bars and off the streets, Chicago Police Sgt. Jason Clark said.
During each potential series-clinching game, extra cops will be on hand and parking will be restricted on Clark Street. If the Hawks do claim the Cup, police will attempt to keep bar-goers from leaving the sidewalks for the street. Anyone who blocks traffic — on the streets or sidewalks — will be told to keep moving, Clark said.
After the win in 2010, revelers flooded the streets after the Blackhawks' final win against the Philadelphia Flyers, lighting off fireworks, yelling, chanting and singing "Chelsea Dagger." After returning from Philadelphia that night, Blackhawks players even showed up in Wrigleyville — with the actual Stanley Cup — and joined the celebration, drawing fans to block traffic along Sheffield.
Police want to avoid that this time around.
"We’re not going to let people have parties in the middle of the street," Clark said. "Our plan is to keep people inside the establishments."
Even with the revelry, most fans will likely follow police orders to move aside, said Officer Tom Walsh. But disorderly fans who are too drunk and refuse to follow commands could potentially be ticketed. And people who drink or urinate in public will also get ticketed due to the district's zero tolerance policy, which includes fines of up to $1,000 if tickets aren't paid on time.
Bar owners were also advised by cops at a meeting last week to keep extra security on hand, enforce occupancy levels and to only serve drinks in plastic cups.
"We want to keep people safe," Clark said.