City promises to better direct fans where to ‘go’ after Edmonton Oilers games

One day after Coun. Scott McKeen asked for a report on public urination because post-game playoff revellers are getting out of hand, the city has confirmed plans to get the word out on where to go.

The problem isn’t immediately outside Rogers Place, so there are no plans to add porta potties near 104 Avenue. However, as fans wander south, the urge to go seems to grow.

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“Two to five blocks is the typical radius where people are stopping in an alley,” said Ian O’Donnell, head of the Downtown Business Association. “From the sounds of it, the awareness campaign and the increased amount of bylaw and police in the area are mitigating it.

“I’m not so sure it’s as large an issue as we’re hearing about but certainly it’s an issue that we want to make sure is controlled.”

READ MORE: City councillor wants to crack down on public urination after Edmonton Oilers games

McKeen said he’s taken plenty of angry phone calls from downtown residents.

“God, I’d rather they at least go in the alley,” he said. “But using the alcove or the entry way to a condo building downtown, I don’t know what that says about the individual, but nothing good.”

“If they’re going to pee on it, it’s just a reflection that they don’t really care about the place.”

Nicole Poirier, the city’s director for civic events, confirmed Edmonton won’t be adding any more location stops, but it will step up the communication campaign.

READ MORE: Porta potties installed downtown to relieve Edmontonians during Oilers playoff run 

“What we’re planning to do about that is to put some of our fun, cheeky signage up that actually identifies where the portable washrooms are and they are just north of Jasper Avenue in Michael Phair Park,” she said.

“So we’re hoping that people will be responsible and use the portable toilets that we’ve put out there for public use.”

The original signs are on 104 Street and say “Let’s Go” as in “Let’s Go Oilers” — identical to the rest of the Oilers Entertainment Group marketing. The washroom is around the corner from the signage.

If the playoffs extend beyond Wednesday’s game in Anaheim, and the Edmonton Oilers advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against Nashville, Poirier said the city will look at the situation again, keeping in mind the expectations of Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht that the size of crowds will grow.

READ MORE: Oilers playoff run costing Edmonton police $400K in overtime 

“When we are trying to find locations, we have to look where can we put them that aren’t going to be disruptive to, for example, residents. They don’t want slamming doors,” Poirier said.

“As well, we have to make sure that they’re in an area that is a city public space that we can put them in. In this case, we had a park space that was available so that was one of the easier locations to put the washrooms into.”

Michael Phair Park was selected because of its good lighting, public access, and because it’s not on private property.

Other locations may be looked at further south from Rogers Place.