Denver businesses, police and city officials say they're prepared for a big Game 5

Stanley Cup Avalanche Lightning Hockey
Posted at 8:08 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 10:08:31-04

DENVER — Preparations are well underway for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. The City of Denver, police and businesses are gearing up for what promises to be a very exciting night.

For restaurants like Nola Jane, that means bringing in extra staff and prepping more food than usual.

Owner and executive chef Michael Goldman told Denver7 the first few games have been very busy for his staff with people coming throughout the game.

“We beefed up like crazy. I mean, I brought in a full kitchen staff three or four days just to prep so much food because we're going to go through it. Our guys at the bar, same preparation, we you know, cut every fruit under the sun and made every mix we could possibly do,” Goldman said.

He expects to see a full house once again on Friday and is asking people trying to get in to be patient if there is a bit of a line to get into the bar, because they are trying to keep everyone safe physically and from COVID-19.

Goldman ordered extra food in preparation for the games but with supply chain issues, that has been a bit of a challenge. He’s had a difficult time getting chicken tenders in particular, so they are making their own from scratch to work around it.

“Things like the fish we use all the time, smaller items, certain spices — we can't get,” he said.

Eggs have also been a challenge. In some cases, his bar and restaurant are going to three or four different food purveyors to buy enough of the ingredients they need for their dishes. He is also working with other restaurants in the area to help one another out.

Still, he’s excited about Game Five and hopes it will result in a win for the Avalanche.

Over at the City of Denver, the office of special events is preparing not only for the game, but also for PrideFest and Denver's Cherry Blossom Festival happening this weekend.

“The city itself is very experienced in balancing many different types of events and activities. So, as far as city agency response skills, we are ready to support these different events,” said Jill Lis, the communications and engagement officer for the office.

They are asking people to look out for one another, bring lots of water and try not to drive if they don’t have to because there are going to be so many crowds and street closures.

“If you don't have to be in the area or aren't interested in joining in the Avs' related festivities, you may want to avoid downtown because it's going to be a wild ride tomorrow night,” Lis said.

The Denver Police Department is also gearing up for a big night, though Chief Paul Pazen was reluctant to make any guesses on the final score of Game 5 at a press conference Thursday because he didn’t want to jinx it. He’s doing what he can to boost the police presence around downtown but admits staffing is a challenge.

“Staffing is a challenge for law enforcement agencies across the country, we're no different in that particular area. But this is where leaning on the partners, figuring out different staffing plans in order to maximize and ensure that we have enough coverage,” Pazen said.

There will be an increased presence of emergency responders in the area the night of the game.

DPD is asking people to be aware of their surroundings and if they see something suspicious to report it, to not drink and drive and to celebrate responsibly should the team clinch the Stanley Cup.

“We could do it safely, we can stay out of the penalty box, we can show the country that we know how to celebrate and that's what we're asking for here,” he said. “Stay classy, show our support for our team and do it in a responsible way.”

Denver7 is the home of the Stanley Cup Final throughout the playoffs, and we'll have pre-game and post-game coverage after each game of the series, which you can watch on Denver7 or on the free Denver7+ streaming app.

Don’t want to host a watch party? Check out these spots across Colorado where you can watch the games.

Click here for more Stanley Cup Final coverage from Denver7.