Two members of the Vancouver Whitecaps supporters group, the Southsiders, were ejected from the upper bowl seats at Rogers Arena during Wednesday’s Canucks game, prompting talk about the atmosphere at local NHL contests.
Brett Graham, president of the Southsiders, told Metro News that 75 members from the support group were in attendance in the upper bowl at Rogers to watch the Canucks defeat the Minnesota Wild.
The Southsiders are a mainstay at Whitecaps games, standing throughout Major League Soccer matches, dancing and chanting.
“That’s what we did for the first period,” said Graham.
“At the intermission, between the first and second (periods) a large number of security and staff came up and told us that we were no longer allowed to stand unless we were in the very back row.
“At that point, two of our members were ejected from the arena for what they deemed to being disrespectful to event staff for questioning their rules. We were told we were allowed to stand on goals and one of our members (said), ‘Well, what about this? What about this?’ At that point he was ejected.”
Graham was asked if fans had complained to the Southsiders for standing or chanting, but said he was “pleasantly surprised” at the positive feedback the supporters received for their enthusiasm from those in nearby sections.
Canucks chief operating officer Victor de Bonis told Team 1040 radio Wednesday that senior security staff with “a lot of experience” were deployed to the section.
“It seemed like they were really into it and quite engaged and they brought a dynamic that we really don’t see often,” said de Bonis.
He added: “It was just unfortunate that a couple of the Southsiders there got a little offside…a little bit aggressive and that’s what happened.”