LAPD: No Lakers ticket? Stay out of downtown
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- L.A. officials are sending a message to Lakers fans Wednesday night: If you don't have a ticket for Thursday's NBA Finals championship game, stay away from Staples Center. Security will be tight in downtown L.A. and across the city. Top city leaders are trying to keep fans under control.
Police and fire stations around the city will be on alert, including the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, because of violence in East Los Angeles after the championship game last year.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says no matter what happens, win or lose: Honor the team.
It hasn't been that way since 2000 and three successive championships. In 2000, police cars and news vans were destroyed. Twelve people were injured.
Last year, there were other disturbances as people came to the area after another victory. Cars and businesses were destroyed and vandalized.
"If you don't have a ticket for game seven, we encourage you to enjoy this time with family and friends," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "Save money, save gas by celebrating at or near your home."
"If you do not have a ticket, do not come downtown. You won't get here anyway," said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. "We will have monitors at the streets and keep those that aren't ticketed out."
"What I would encourage everyone to do is exactly what I'm going to do, because I can't afford to buy Laker tickets," said L.A. Fire Chief Millage Peaks. "I'm going to go home, lock the door, I'm going to turn the television on, and I'm going to have a great time celebrating the Laker victory tomorrow."
Standing next to him was the mayor, who's been criticized for accepting a lot of freebies in the recent past from the Lakers and from other venues. He said he'll be at Staples Center Thursday night. When asked if he paid for tickets, he said he would attend in his official capacity.
Program schedule for ABC7 Thursday night:
- 4 p.m.: Eyewitness News
- 5 p.m.: Eyewitness News
- 5:30 p.m.: GMC NBA Countdown
- 6 p.m.: 2010 NBA Finals, Game 7
- 8:30 p.m.: Sports Zone
- 9:30 p.m.: Jimmy Kimmel Live
- 10 p.m.: Jeopardy!
- 10:30 p.m.: Wheel of Fortune
- 11 p.m.: Eyewitness News
- 11:35 p.m.: Jimmy Kimmel Live
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