Police Say 2 Million Fans Attend Blackhawks Rally
By Michael Puente, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
Chicago police say more than two million people turned out to celebrate the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win.
Fans clad in the team's colors of red and black started streaming into the city early Friday and by mid-morning they were lined up along the parade route. Later fans streamed into Grant Park, where a huge throng of fans waited for players to speak.
In 2010, Bill Jacobson traveled to downtown Chicago from Crystal Lake to celebrate the Hawks first Stanley Cup championship in four decades. Jacobson said he is glad he made the trip again.
"More people, more excitement. Feels like we picked up a few more Blackhawk fans along the way. It’s a great team to support that’s for sure," Jacobson said.
Kathy Gormley said the celebration worked out perfectly.
"I’m so happy because Friday is my only day off," Gormley said.
Gormley said her parents first got her hooked on the Blackhawks, a team she has been following since she was a kid.
"These games between Boston is probably the best hockey I’ve ever watched on TV. It’s just fantastic," she said.
Blackhawks players signed autographs and shook hands with fans in the park before the rally started.
Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz spent his time during the Stanley Cup victory rally to say thank you.
Wirtz thanked Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, the players and the fans. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced Wirtz before thousands of fans packed into Grant Park.
Another lawmaker, Gov. Pat Quinn took the microphone to declare Friday as Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks Day in Illinois. He presented Wirtz with a declaration.