Five years ago, the Vancouver Canucks boned up a Game 7 at home and the city of Vancouver responded with a massive riot. The riot resulted in five million Canadian dollars of property damage and also a fantastic photo of a couple taking a break from burning stuff to make out in the street. The City of Pittsburgh is apparently a big party pooper and doesn’t want a possible Penguins victory tonight to spawn a moment as joyful as the riot kiss, so they are taking anti-riot measures, including rounding up any burnable couches so Penguins fans can’t torch them.
Public Works crews began going to various parts of the city Wednesday to enforce a little-known ordinance in advance of the Penguins potentially winning the Stanley Cup Thursday night at Consol Energy Center.
Guy Costa, the city’s chief of operations, said crews are removing couches from front porches, collecting abandoned furniture and emptying trash containers before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks.
“The less fuel that’s out there, the better off we will be,” he said. The city even plans to empty or lock newspaper boxes so revelers will have less fuel to set on fire.
The city said that they’d return the couches once the Stanley Cup Finals are done, which, given the hefty jinx they’re calling upon the Penguins, won’t be until next Wednesday’s Game 7. However, should the Penguins escape the cosmic justice owed them for this act of cocky assurance, the city is going to allow fans an hour and a half of revelry before, in Costa’s words, “All bets are off.”
If the Pens win, Costa said a 90-minute window will be allowed for street celebrations after the game — “as long as things are under control. If they get out of control, all bets are off. And then we’ll ask people to go home.”
Per our friends at Above The Law Redline, the city is acting on a 2009 ordinance banning upholstery from the outdoors:
The City claims that it is justified in seizing people’s furniture due to a local ordinance enacted in 2009 banning citizens from placing upholstered furniture designed for indoor use in an outdoor setting. The city ordinance prohibits “any furniture that contains attached filling material and is used or intended to be used for sitting, reclining or resting indoors” from being placed on “any front, side or back porch, patio, deck or balcony that is not closed in to shield it year round from the elements.”
I am no “legal expert,” but it seems like confiscating people’s porch furniture might only make them angrier and more likely to riot, should the Ice Stillers win tonight. Luckily, the jinx that the city cast upon their team should be a strong one, and the riots will have to wait until another day.