The June 15 Stanley Cup riot – the worst in Vancouver’s history – could not have been foreseen, and no plausible number of police officers could have prevented it, say the authors of an independent review released Thursday. But there were early warning signs of trouble that day, according to the official chronology in their report.
Noon to 3:30 p.m. – Reports of alcohol concealed under jerseys, and open alcohol consumption. TransLink reports a crush on the Canada SkyTrain line headed downtown – which continues until 9:45 p.m., nearly two hours after the riot begins.
4 p.m. – Liquor stores close as scheduled, as the Live Site on Georgia Street hits full capacity.
4:40 p.m. – The Live Site’s barricades are breached
4:55 p.m. to 4:59 p.m. - Crowds numbering in the thousands crush fences surrounding the Live Site. People are seen climbing on roof awnings and light standards.
5:20 p.m. – Game 7 begins
5:30 p.m. – Fences are breached at the Live Site, and police receive reports of people being trampled.
5:40 p.m. – Additional officers dispatched to the Live Site.
6:13 p.m. – Budget Car Rental staff ask for people on their building’s roof to be removed, fearing it will collapse.
6:30 p.m. – People climb on top of portable toilets at the Live Site.
6:44 p.m. – Police see people throwing bottles from top of Budget building; those responsible are removed.
6:50 p.m. – More VPD officers sent to the Live Site.
7:02 p.m. – SkyTrain cars leave stadium area at full capacity, as worried people leave the downtown Live Site.
7:18 p.m. – Large fight near Live Site involving 30 to 40 people..
7:30 p.m. – Calls to 911 report “rioting on the streets” and VPD starting to “lose control of the crowds.” Crowd takes shovels from a city truck, smashes windows at Dunsmuir and Hamilton streets.
7:33 p.m. – Reports of looting at the Gucci store.
7:44 p.m. – Vehicles tipped over, numerous fights reported and bottles thrown at the Live Site’s large screen.
7:45 p.m. – Game 7 concludes with a Boston Bruins win, and 911 lines are flooded with reports of fires, flipped vehicles, fireworks set off, and thrown bottles.
7:57 p.m. – Two large fires outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, with a vehicle in flames outside the Canada Post building near the Live Site.
7:59 p.m. – Vancouver police public safety units ordered to don riot gear as the disturbance mushrooms.