L.A. prepares for Lakers victory parade
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Final preparations are underway for Monday's Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship victory parade and dedicated fans have already begun to camp out.
The victory parade will kick off at 11 a.m. at Staples Center and travel south on Figueroa Street and continue on a two-mile stretch to Jefferson Boulevard, where the procession will head east, just north of the USC campus and Galen Center.
But unlike last year's parade, there will be no post-parade event on Monday.
Lakers fan Tony Moore says he doesn't mind.
He's been waiting near USC with his Game 7 ticket around his neck since 10 a.m. Sunday.
"Last year I was at the tail end of the parade," he said. "I wanted to get here and beat the crowd."
Robert vega has brought out his prized possession: a police car, burned after the 2000 Lakers championship victory, now salvaged and transformed into a team shrine.
"When I got it I thought I'd do something positive and make our city proud," he said.
Players will ride on a customized flat-bed float, equipped with audio capabilities, which will help mitigate anticipated pedestrian and traffic congestion.
The city anticipates closing Figueroa Street between Olympic Boulevard to the north and Jefferson Boulevard on the south. These closures will go into effect midnight Sunday.
Authorities also say the L.A. Live Plaza near Staples Center will be closed.
The Lakers organization will be picking up the $1.5 million tab.
Having hundreds and thousands of people on the streets for the Lakers parade may sound like good news for local businesses, but some business owners along the Figueroa corridor say they're taking precautions that will actually cost them money.
"Anything can happen on that day, so I am concerned for the safety of my employees and the safety of the place," said Aida Urizar, the owner of Vieta Coffee on Figueroa Street. Urizar said unfortunately, she will not be open for business Monday.
"They tell me that police may be overwhelmed by what's going on in the streets there, so not to bother risking anything here. I'm going to listen to them," said Michael Herman, the owner of Figueroa Optometry Center.
City and Lakers officials urge people to celebrate peacefully. Los Angeles law enforcement will be out in force to make sure things do not get out of hand. Authorities are trying to prevent anything like Thursday's post-game riots from happening.
Meanwhile, the LAPD plans to roll out a new texting service at Monday's parade.
The department says the service will give users accurate and up-to-date information about the festivities.
The service is called "L.A. Wins," and you can subscribe to it by texting "la wins" to 888-777.
The LAPD is offering an incentive to subscribe to the free service. The department will give two subscribers an iPad after the parade.
Program schedule for ABC7 Monday:
- 10 a.m.: Pre-parade coverage
- 11 a.m.: L.A. Lakers Victory Parade
- 4 p.m.: Eyewitness News
- 5 p.m.: Eyewitness News
- 6 p.m.: Eyewitness News
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