Police in Pittsburgh are being cautious ahead of a potential Stanley Cup win Thursday night.
Public works crews spent the day collecting close to two dozen couches from porches of houses near the Consol Energy Center.
City officials are worried they may be set on fire if celebrations get out of hand after the game.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final. They have already won three games, and if they win Thursday night, they’ll win the cup.
Police say they want to make sure hockey fans celebrate responsibly if that happens.
“If the Penguins are fortunate enough to win we want to see on the morning news the good things… the Pittsburghers celebrating. We don’t want to see any folks destroying or upsetting the apple cart here in Pittsburgh,” Guy Costa, the city’s chief of operations, told KDKA-TV.
Extra police will be on hand for crowd control, and fans will only get 90 mins after the game ends before they will be asked to leave the premises.
The city could be trying to prevent something like what happened in Vancouver in 2011 – when riots broke out after the Canucks lost the cup.
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Businesses and civilians suffered losses estimated at $2.7 million and $540,000, respectively, while the cost to the City of Vancouver, B.C. Ambulance Service and St. Paul’s Hospital was $525,000.
A report says the city spent over $5 million prosecuting cases that stemmed from the riot.
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The last time the Penguins won the cup was in 2009, and there were no riots then.
Police say they don’t expect any this time either, but are only being cautious by removing the couches.
“If there’s no fuel, chances are there won’t be any fire and we’re going to try and limit the fuel sources that people will have that access to,” Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said.
The couches will be held until the end of the Stanley Cup.
*With files from .