Hawks fans stormed the streets of Chicago Monday after the Blackhawks clinched their third Stanley Cup in six seasons, turning the city's Wrigleyville neighborhood into a sea of red and black.
Almost as quickly as the horn blew giving the city’s beloved Blackhawks another Stanley Cup title, fans took to the streets to come together and celebrate a home win – something that hasn’t been done by the team in nearly 80 years.
"It was so packed," said reveler Luis Ramos. "People were climbing everything. Chicago police were doing their best to keep the crowd normal."
Police could not immediately confirm the number of arrests made overnight, but some rowdy fans were seen breaking a squad car's windshield and pelting horses with bottles. Still, police say it was an improvement from the last Hawks victory.
"We learned from two years ago, we gave revelers more space," said Chief of Patrol Wayne Gulliford. "Then put our plan in place to take the street back."
Many neighborhood business owners started preparing for another round of rowdy celebrations early, reminding themselves of the revelers in Wrigleyville in 2013 that broke down police barricades, set off fireworks, shattered storefronts and left nearly two dozen people arrested.
This year, some owners say they met with Chicago police last week to discuss a game plan.
“No glassware, use plastic cups, and watch your occupancy,” said Sluggers bar owner Steven Strauss.
Businesses in the area say they were told there would be an elevated police presence on Clark Street Monday.
This year, police started putting up barricades in the area during the third period of the game, splitting the crowd in two. The celebrations started winding down by 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Police on Sunday said in a statement that they didn't expect the situation to get out of hand if the Hawks won.
“The Chicago Police Department's top priority is protecting and keeping its residents safe,” the statement read. “At this point, we expect no significant issues if a certain Chicago team happens to win a certain trophy tomorrow night.”
Last week, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the department has been working on a safety plan for months.
The last time a Chicago team won a championship in Chicago was in 1997 when Michael Jordan led the Bulls to win the NBA Finals.