Gillette Stadium staff bracing for major influx of Canadians

The Elbow staff

 Friday's Winter Classic is expected to bring the largest number of Canadians to Gillette Stadium in its 13 year history.  Source

Friday's Winter Classic is expected to bring the largest number of Canadians to Gillette Stadium in its 13 year history. Source

FOXBOROUGH, MA – Arena staff at the home of the New England Patriots have been working feverishly to prepare for the 20,000 Canadian hockey fans expected to attend Friday's Winter Classic.

Normally used to dealing with a crowd made up of 95% American spectators, arena personnel have undergone exhaustive testing and education programs to learn how to deal with the well-mannered neighbours.

"Our staff are now well-versed in the Canadian language, and many are fluent enough to have a simple conversation with one," ground spokesman Dale Brinkley said.

"They know to slow down their talking speed by about half and throw in a number of apologies in order for the Canadians to understand."

Arena staff at all entry points will be armed with cattle prods to keep the visitors moving through the turnstiles.  

"We don't want to deal with any Canadian standoffs holding up the lines," Brinkley said. "The turnstiles are there to enter the stadium. Once tickets are scanned, there's no standing back and letting the person behind you go first."

"I have instructed all of my staff to use the cattle prods whenever necessary. As soon as a Canadian has his ticket scanned, he must move straight through the turnstile. Any delay will result in a zap."

There are also a number of other measures that the arena has put in place to deal with the fans.

"We will have subtitles on screen to translate everything from American to Canadian, as well as CWers in each aisle," Brinkley said.

"CWers stand for 'Canadian Welcomers'. They will administer maple syrup, Clamato and unnecessary French translations to any dangerously homesick Canucks."