1. Pre-Game Initiatives 2023
    1. Coordination
    2. Community Engagement
    3. Student Communications
  2. Game-time Initiatives 2023
  3. Post-Game Initiatives 2023

This year’s Panda game will be on Sunday, October 1, 2023, at TD Place with a kickoff time at 12:00 p.m.

The annual Panda Football Game, a historic rivalry between the uOttawa and Carleton University, has been a tradition for the two universities and the largest university sporting event in Canada. The return of Carleton Ravens Football in 2013 brought the return of this annual tradition. The game has been sold out for the past six years with attendance at 24,000 (60% of those in attendance are students from the two universities). It is an important part of the student experience as it brings school spirit and pride like no other event on campus across Canada.

While the revenue to the Universities is small, the Panda Game generates a direct economic impact of $3 million according to the latest study conducted by T1 (Impact Assessment Report August 3, 2022).

As your neighbour, Carleton University takes pride in our connection to the community, and we are committed to keeping you informed on the steps we’re taking to ensure a safe and respectful Panda game. We invite you to read about some of the initiatives and partnerships we have engaged in to support our students and the wider community before, during and after the game.

Pre-Game Initiatives 2023


The City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) are working together to ensure safe and responsible Panda Game celebrations for all residents and participants.

Carleton is a key partner in the development of the 2023 RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) Risk Assessment to determine roles and responsibilities in relation to all aspects of the Panda Game day. This process has engaged the Police, City officials, university representatives and partners at OSEG.

Community Engagement

Direct engagement with Landlords and tenants in high-priority areas of concern in advance of game day to communicate expectations and potential consequences for disorderly behaviour.

Carleton University’s Community Door Knocking campaign in partnership with Ottawa Police Services, reaches an average of over 3,000 homes in the Glebe and Old Ottawa South.

Student Communications

Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) and other Student Leaders have assisted in developing student-focused initiatives and messaging around responsibility and safety.

Continued communication to students throughout September on student behaviour, safer substance use and being good neighbours. Read the Panda Post sent to all undergraduate students on September 29, 2023.

Party Safer Fair on campus to engage students in hands-on learning about safer substance use and their responsibility to be good neighbours in relation to game day activities.

Naloxone and overdose awareness training are made available to all members of the Carleton community on September 21 and 28, 2023.

Working with City of Ottawa service partners, including Ottawa Police, Ottawa By-law and Regulatory Services and Ottawa Public Health to deliver targeted communication and messaging to students around the following key themes:

  • Student responsibility to demonstrate accountability and be good neighbours
  • Safer substance use and harm reduction messaging
  • Sexual Violence Awareness and training for event volunteers
  • Public Order and Legal repercussions with regard to City of Ottawa by-laws including excessive noise, littering, trespassing, etc.

Game-time Initiatives 2023

Carleton has requested, and the partners organizing the event are providing, funding to increase the presence of Ottawa Police and other relevant emergency services before, during and after the game through a partnership with OSEG, the City of Ottawa and uOttawa. We have been assured by our partners at the Ottawa Police that there will be zero tolerance for disruption to public order or illegal activity and they are confident in their plans to support the neighbours affected by the events on Game Day.

Zero Tolerance for intoxication or unruly behaviour at the game (no bags or re-entry privileges during the event).

Reduced alcohol service during the game and alcohol sales will be stopped early if they approach an elevated threshold.

Carleton will have a team of professional staff from the Office of Student Affairs and other student-centered departments present to facilitate a quick response to any incidents that occur. They will be accompanied by over 50 volunteers from the Carleton community who will be there to support a full complement of TD Place security to ensure the safe and successful operation of the game.

Carleton’s Student Health and Wellness Services will be providing support to Panda Game participants by deploying a triage centre at TD Place to address medical concerns that arise during the game and divert cases from Emergency Services and area hospitals where possible.

This service includes a safe discharge plan and secondary care area on campus for students who require additional support.

Post-Game Initiatives 2023

Carleton is part of a multi-disciplinary Operations and Communications team that will continue to monitor and support responses to incidents in the community after the game has concluded. This team includes the City of Ottawa Emergency Management, Ottawa Police, the University of Ottawa and other key stakeholders.

Carleton University is of the view that strict law enforcement is required throughout the weekend. Carleton has been assured that the City of Ottawa Emergency Management, Ottawa Police Service and Bylaw Services are committed to responding to concerns from the public after the game. Carleton has fully cooperated with requests from these units to facilitate their role and remains fully supportive of these units in maintaining safety and public order. The Panda game event fund has contributed over $100,000 to ensure a strong Ottawa Police and Bylaw Services presence throughout the weekend.

After the 2022 Panda Game, the Steering Committee made up of key stakeholders including City Event Central and the Ottawa Police Services, recommended organizing a post-Panda event for students at both universities. This recommendation came from City Services, specifically OPS, with a rationale that the pre-game tailgate has worked in moving the students off the Sandy Hill community streets prior to the game. As Sandy Hill has been the historical gathering space for students to participate in pre and post-game activities given the concentration of student housing in the area, it was determined a designated area within or close to Sandy Hill would be the best location for post-game activities.

The University of Ottawa has made the decision to host both the morning and evening Panda-related events on their campus – with the understanding that this will require support from the Ottawa Police Service to ensure that both the uOttawa community, as well as its Sandy Hill neighbours, are protected before, during and after the events. Assurances have been received by the Ottawa Police Services.

Carleton is supporting the evening Panda Game event on October 1, 2023, for uOttawa and Carleton students hosted on the uOttawa campus. The event will feature music and offer a safe and supervised environment for students to celebrate the game without impacting the larger community.

The Student Experience Office has organized a Post Panda Cleanup event in the Glebe and Old Ottawa South for the morning of October 2, 2023. This community-engaged learning opportunity connects Carleton students with local non-profit and community organizations to explore the social, environmental and economic challenges impacting the greater Ottawa community. In addition to the cleanup – student volunteers will participate in a discussion about the impact of large sporting events on small communities.

Carleton will continue to monitor and respond to questions received via the panda@carleton.ca inbox before, during, and after the game to ensure the community is acknowledged and informed about our commitment to being a good neighbour.

Carleton has committed to conducting an internal post-event debrief to identify areas of improvement and enhance service delivery for future events. These findings will be shared as part of a larger post-game exercise conducted in collaboration with the City of Ottawa, OSEG, Ottawa Police and the University of Ottawa to ensure a holistic review of the event and its potential impact on the community.

We are very excited to celebrate this tradition and provide students with a chance to build a connection with the wider Ottawa community. For further questions please reach out to panda@carleton.ca.