There are some days in Calgary, Alberta when domestic violence is more likely to
happen than other days. There is a statistically significant connection between
higher rates of domestic violence and certain Calgary Stampeders’ football
games as well as the arrival of the Calgary Stampede. During the 10-day-long
Calgary Stampede, domestic violence calls on the seventh, ninth and tenth day
of Stampede, were up 15 per cent compared to an average day. Weekends
and summer months were also generally associated with the highest rates of
domestic violence reports in Calgary.
When it came to Calgary Stampeders’ football games, calls were higher only when
the Stampeders faced off against the rival Edmonton Eskimos – with a 15 per cent
increase in domestic violence reports. Grey Cup games in which Calgary played
were associated with a 40 per cent increase in reports of domestic violence.
However, games played by the Calgary Flames seemed to have no relationship
to domestic violence calls, even those against the rival Edmonton team.
Also, New Year’s Day appears to be associated with a significant spike in
domestic violence, going by a four-year count of phone calls reporting domestic
violence to both police and a local help line for those experiencing domestic
and sexual abuse. There are also increases in calls associated with Good Friday,
Easter, Canada Day, Labour Day, Valentine’s Day and Halloween.
Meanwhile, the 2013 catastrophic floods in Calgary resulted in an increase in
reports of domestic violence to police and the Connect help line, averaging an
additional 6.6 reported incidents of domestic violence per day during the flood,
14 per cent higher than average.
Boutilier, S., Jadidzadeh, A., Esina, E., Wells, L., & Kneebone, R. (2017). The connection between professional sporting events, holidays and domestic violence in Calgary, Alberta. School of Public Policy, SPP Research Papers, 10(12): 1-27.