Sports Victory Parades In LA Shouldn't Be On Weekdays

An LA Fan's Victory Parade Woes

6/18/12 in NHL   |   natsaar   |   160 respect

Jun 14, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the Los Angeles Kings celebration parade on Figueroa Street. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIREThere are several solutions. One is to hold the parade on a weekend when everyone can come out and be excited about their team. There's the Rose Parade every year, which is longer than the one mile route the Kings went on. People come from all over the nation to see that, and the city is able to accommodate it. There's also large events up in Hollywood every year like the Pride Parade, Halloween on Santa Monica and the Sunset Music Festival. The city somehow can take care of all these events, but can't have a simple, mile long parade on the weekend.

Another option is to skip a parade and have an event like the Kings rally in Staples center. However, do it on a weekend, or at night, in a place like the Coliseum, where over 90,000 people can be a part of the event. There are easily 90,000 Kings fans in Southern California who can fill up the Coliseum on a Saturday, especially if the event is free, as the Kings' was. AEG is part owner of the hockey team and Staples center so that likely had something to do with the locale, but the tickets were free, so they weren't making money anyway.

One huge benefit of having a victory parade or rally on a weekend is what is would do for the local economy. Think about how much money pours in for every USC home football game or even when the Kings were in the Playoffs. By holding the event on a weekday, businesses are getting a bit more revenue from people who wouldn't have otherwise been there, but if they have tens of thousands of more people there on a day when people are feeling relaxed then their wallets may be looser too.

The LA Times posted an article shortly after the parade, in which fans were interviewed. One woman, Meredith Gullion reflected the feelings of many fans. Writer Sam Allen reports:

“The celebration drew new supporters too, such as Meredith Gullion, who said she and her daughter Ella started watching the Kings only recently... 'Hockey is just something different. It's always cool to check out something new,' Gullion said. 'And I can tell you, after this week, my daughter is going to be a fan for life. The tears were running down her face when they won Monday.'”

There are so many fans out there just like Gullion and her daughter who are new to this team and this sport, which is comparably unpopular in southern California. Being able to go to that parade and experience the atmosphere and the fans is something both of them will never forget and now that little girl is a Kings fan. However, the casual fan who jumped on board, is fairly likely to forget the feeling come next regular season. Sure, they'll remember the run and the moment they won, but there won't be any kind of extra special connection there. They had to miss out on a huge part of the fan experience, all because they were doing their job.

One of the best feelings on Earth is the one when your team wins. One of the worst is knowing you won't be able to celebrate with the team you've poured your heart, soul, time and money into all season long. This can easily change. All that needs to be done is to change the event to a weekend. Sure, some people still won't be able to go, but thousands more will, and they'll be selling out the arena every game the next season, excited and ready to see their team do it again.

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6/19/12   |   Debi_L   |   11787 respect

Hi Becky!!!

Glad to read your perspective as well.  As you know, it has been a long time since my Flames hoisted the Cup, and at the time I was living in the Queen Charlotte Islands, so all my celebrations were thru that little screen I called a TV.  Plus, I've never lived in a city as large as LA, so I can only imagine the logistics of traffic, etc.

I'm really glad the team honored the season ticket holders. I can only imagine how many more of them there will be next year.

BTW, all the jokes I heard after the win made me angry How dare they say "LA just found out they HAVE a  hockey team"  I never liked Jay Leno, now I like him even less.

I'm also glad you fellow teaches pitched in so you could go to the games.  When I wanted to attend our Rage games here in my lil town, my boss never considered my requests for early "release" from the coal mines LOL.

I sure hope the celebrating continues for you, right up until the next season starts!

6/19/12   |   kteacher   |   34320 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I am honestly of the opinion that the fans who are season ticket holders should be honored by the team.  These are the people who attend games, win or lose, playoffs or not.  Staples Center should host an event for those season ticket holders, either on the weekend or at night as you suggest.  The balance of the tickets should be given to the people who express desire to attend.  Is a parade really necessary? Could there be some other kind of recognition or celebration? I think so. 

Love your perspective though!!

First.....hi debi! laugh

Now some of my random thoughts while reading this....

1. Most (if not all) victory parades are during the work week. This may have something to do with enough cops ....city workers (those responsible for cleaning up) etc... The Kings parade was no different..............in fact LAPD estimates that over 250,000 fans came out to celebrate. Another guess to why these types of parades happen during the week................probably to lessen the amount of people and make for a more enjoyable event......I don't know. I had no problem with it being on the week day. I was planning on being there no matter what. The only thing I would have done different if it had been on a weekend was leave earlier for a better view of the parade at LA Live. 

2. The Rally inside Staples-----Season Ticket Holders had first dibs on tickets for this event......before they went public. If you were lucky enough to get a ticket, you then were able to view the parade outside LA Live----pretty cool by the way. Also, if you weren't able to make the parade....like my fellow teach and season ticket holder at my school, you still had your ticket to go to the rally. Win win...in my book. Rally started at 2:30. 

3. All of the games for the Finals started at 5 p.m.............which meant most people who were attending these games had to leave work early in order to beat traffic, etc.... (I was lucky to have a teach friend cover for me 4 times......3 games and the parade........and the parade was held on the last day of school.......my parents and kids understood----once in a lifetime thing and all....and from what I gather for others........most employers were pretty cool with letting people attend or leave early if possible.) Soo....if you were an employer of a nutty long suffering fan like myself, you were already prepared to let your employee go..........knowing that when it was all over, he/she would bust their ass even more for you because of your kindness. laugh

4. The only street closures were those used for the parade. Most companies allowed their employees to view the parade from their windows or in front of their buildings. 

5....last random thought.......and factoid. The Kings have already sold out their half season and 10 game packs for next season (and they did this before starting round 3) and are close to selling out their season seats for the first time ever in club history. This past season only had two games not be be sell out games. The Kings will have no problems with attendance next season........

****Also, the team that just lifted the Stanley Cup a week ago will pretty much be the same one taking the ice next season....making this typer a very happy fan! 

6/18/12   |   natsaar   |   160 respect

Thanks! I appreciate you reading it. I know it is lengthy haha I agree. The season ticket holders deserve something extra for sure, but even the casual fan. It makes no sense to have a parade at a time when people wouldn't be able to attend games.

6/18/12   |   Debi_L   |   11787 respect

I am honestly of the opinion that the fans who are season ticket holders should be honored by the team.  These are the people who attend games, win or lose, playoffs or not.  Staples Center should host an event for those season ticket holders, either on the weekend or at night as you suggest.  The balance of the tickets should be given to the people who express desire to attend.  Is a parade really necessary? Could there be some other kind of recognition or celebration? I think so. 

Love your perspective though!!