Friday, June 18, 2010
LOS ANGELES LAKERS HOST DOWNTOWN PARADE TO CELEBRATE 16TH NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers will host a celebratory parade for all local fans on Monday, June 21, starting at STAPLES Center and traveling south on Figueroa Street to Jefferson Boulevard, just north of the USC campus and Galen Center.
By defeating the Boston Celtics for the 2010 NBA championship, the Lakers not only earned the franchise’s 16th league title but also repeated as champions for the third time in the past decade. The Lakers have won back-to-back titles a total of seven times in franchise history, tying the NBA mark previously held by the Celtics. Tonight’s victory marks only the fourth of the Lakers’ 16 NBA titles that went to a deciding seventh game, and the first time besting the Celtics in a seventh game.
Based on attendance for the 2002 NBA championship parade and last season’s festivities, team and City officials anticipate a crowd of between 500,000 and 2 million fans lining the two-mile parade route along South Figueroa Street.
While the City of Los Angeles and hometown Lakers held an accompanying rally attended by more than 95,000 inside the Coliseum to mark the 2009 championship, this time around, players will interact with fans from a customized flat-bed float, equipped with audio capabilities. That will help to mitigate anticipated pedestrian and traffic congestion, while also relieving security, sanitation and other civic demands otherwise required of the privately funded 2010 ceremonies.
Beginning at approximately 11 a.m. (PDT), Lakers players and their families will board the customized float at STAPLES Center, and begin winding their way down South Figueroa Street toward the USC campus before turning east on Jefferson Boulevard at the Galen Center to complete the parade. A convoy of double-decker, open-air buses and other attending vehicles will carry Lakers coaches and staff, members of the Buss family ownership group, team officials, and the Laker Girls to the conclusion of the two-mile route.
City officials recommend that, whenever possible, fans take the Metro Rail system to the Pico/Chick Hearn station adjacent to the parade route rather than attempt to drive into the STAPLES Center and Figueroa area. Parking will be available in the downtown lots surrounding STAPLES Center and the Figueroa corridor, yet street closures beginning the night before are likely to make morning traffic far more difficult.
The City anticipates closing Figueroa Street between Olympic Boulevard to the north and Jefferson Boulevard on the south beginning at midnight Sunday. Other road closures include Chick Hearn Court between Figueroa Street and Cherry Street; Cherry Street between Olympic and Pico Boulevards; Flower Street between Washington and Jefferson Boulevards; Jefferson Boulevard between Figueroa and Hoover Streets; and all intersections along the two-mile route as designated by the Los Angeles Police Department and Department of Transportation. LAPD and DOT anticipate reopening major intersections along Figueroa Street as the parade commences, pending pedestrians in those areas having dispersed and other safety conditions being met.