Lakers and L.A. will split cost of parade
Neither the Orlando Magic nor a disintegrating city budget will stand in the way of the Lakers’ victory parade, which is scheduled to follow a two-mile route from the Staples Center to the Coliseum on Wednesday.
Despite some grumbling about the cost of the celebration as city workers face layoffs and furloughs, fervent basketball fans demanded an opportunity to salute their hometown heroes.
In the end, the team and city will split the cost -- each kicking in about $1 million for the festivities, which for the first time includes the significant expense of renting the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The city will pay for police, transportation and general staff, said Mark Szabo, spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The mayor said Sunday that it was “untenable” not to have a parade, even though city officials had been meeting behind closed doors to find hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts.
Daryll O’Donoghue, 34, a computer networker from Los Feliz, said winning the championship would be exciting but added, “The city of Los Angeles has no money for a parade. It’s a waste of money.”
The Police Protective League agreed.
“At a time of financial crisis, when the public expects, and quite frankly should demand city leaders to be good stewards of every tax dollar, it is foolish for elected officials to favor spending 1 million tax dollars on a three-hour parade,” league President Paul M. Weber said in a prepared statement Sunday.
Others, however, couldn’t imagine not having one. Avid fan Pam Brooks, 59, said a championship celebration would boost everyone’s morale.
“How dare they not have a parade! These guys have worked hard for us,” she said.
Times staff writer Ari Bloomekatz contributed to this report.
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