Last night the Montreal Canadians beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins to go on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Shortly after their victory, people in Montreal began celebrating along Saint-Catherine Street by starting fires, looting stores and turning cars over. MSNBC reported today that last night's riots were not as bad as those in 2008, 1993 and 1986. With all these riots in Montreal, why do we still hear so much about the 1984 celebration following the Detroit Tigers World Series victory. Why is Detroit held up as an example of fans "rioting." It seems that there are more of these celebrations in Montreal than in Detroit. While we each have great professional teams that frequent the Stanley Cup Finals, World Series and NBA Payoffs, it should not be a blemish on our cities to win.
While the fans in Montreal should have celebrated a bit more cautiously, both Detroit and Montreal need to be more diligent in creating a brand for their cities and a positive brand experience that people will remember.
There are so many other things to remember about our great cities, but will Montreal now become the new Detroit? Perhaps, but Detroit also may become the new Montreal. A city known for its culture and great quality of life. A cosmopolitan city enriched by its immigrant communities and diversity of culture. A city where you can eat a coney island hot dog on one corner (with onions, chile and mustard), and Moussaka on the other . A city known for its resilience, its hard work ethic and for serving as the center of innovation. There is so much to learn about Detroit, but more importantly there are so many things to experience...in celebrating victories like the one in Montreal last night, but also in experiencing our neighborhoods and our people.
Video from 1993 Montreal Riots *AP Photo