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Lakers Parade Route a Bittersweet Victory Lap Around L.A.?
Talk of a victory parade for the NBA's Lakers began before the team had even cinched the victory itself, which, if you're in LA and live under a rock, happened last night in Orlando in game 5 of the championship.
The primary concern for many has been the cost of an event; with an estimated price tag of $1.1 million, Angelenos, including City Councilwoman Jan Perry, feel a parade is not the best use of limited--perhaps even nonexistent--City funds. While the Lakers have said they would split the bill with the City, the fact remains that such an event must be designed to, and will likely, draw attention to our city.
Some people's behavior last night post-win notwithstanding, the chosen route of the parade leaves many questioning why the team would journey south from their home court at Staples down Figueroa to the Coliseum. Much like recent scrutiny over the chosen routes of the LA Marathon, it leaves locals, like those at Blogdowntown, wondering: "Are strip malls and car dealerships really the visuals Los Angeles wants to feature in its celebration" and "is that stretch of Figueroa really the right venue for the hundreds of thousands of fans expected for a championship parade?"
In comparison to previous parade routes for Lakers victories, the one established for Wednesday's celebration is longer. It stands to reason that, in a time clouded by budget shortfalls, perhaps this route was also the cheapest, since it is a straight shot from venue to venue, and can accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people expected to participate. So why end at the Coliseum and not Staples? Is it because the LA Live contingency does not want a potentially destructive crowd setting fires in front of the Conga Room and the Ritz Carlton?
What do you think? Is this the right route for us? Should we have a parade at all?