A victory parade and rally will be held in downtown Oakland to celebrate the 2017 National Basketball Association Championship Golden State Warriors on Thursday 15 June 2017. Would it have been better to wait till weekend?
It will be the second victory parade through the streets of downtown Oakland in three years.
The victory parade will begin in Old Oakland at Broadway and 11th Street. The parade will continue up Broadway through Downtown Oakland and the city’s booming Uptown district.
The parade will turn left on Grand Avenue, proceeding East toward Lake Merritt, turning right onto Harrison Street, continuing to 19th Street, where it will turn right onto Lakeside Drive, ending at Oak Street.
A victory rally will be held at Lakeside Drive and 12th Street in front of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, formerly known as the Oakland Auditorium.
2015 Victory Parade
The Golden State Warriors won their first NBA championship in 40 years in 2o15. I seriously considered flying home to attend the parade.
After taking a quick look at airline schedules, however, I realized that making travel plans on such short notice would simply be too complicated and too risky.
Because I live in Hong Kong, I would have run a considerable risk of spending all that time and money to fly San Francisco and miss the parade.
My only choice was to watch the parade on television.
Needless to say, there were no live broadcasts of the parade on television in Hong Kong. It took a few days before videos of the parade started to appear on YouTube, and when I watched them I was truly impressed by the arrangements.
Hundreds of thousands of people were living Broadway. There were blue and gold flags. There were blue and gold banners. Bowers of flowers were suspended from the street lamps.
When the first blue and gold double decker bus turned onto Oaktown's main drag, the crowded busts into cheers and blue and gold confetti was shot from canons that had been mounted on lampposts.
A journalist on national television said, “Oakland has never looked so good.”
I was torn by conflicting emotions as I watched the parade move at a snail’s pace up Broadway: pride that such a magnificent event was being held in my hometown and regret that I couldn’t be there to witness it in person.
And I WOULD have been there to witness it in person if organizers had not been in such a rush to get the show on the road.
I know that some people are impatient and want a victory parade such as this to be held as soon as possible after a championship has been won.
But I maintain that rushing into holding such a parade has some key negatives:
- Holding the parade on a weekday wreaks havoc with the morning commute, causing unnecessary inconvenience to people that can’t or don’t want to attend.
- Workers and students have to choose between taking time off school or work – or missing out on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- There is not enough time for people living at a distance (such as me) to make travel arrangements if they would like to attend.
If the parade could be postponed 48 hours and held on Saturday, all of this would be avoided.
If it could be postponed 72 hours and held on Sunday, it would have the potential of offering a considerable economic shot in the arm to the entire region – and Oakland in particular:
- Many out-of-town visitors would arrive a day or two early and make a weekend of it - food and beverage outlets would be packed.
- Anyone coming from a significant distance, such as me, would probably want to spend at least a week there to justify the expense.
- This would be a boon to everyone from hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs to taxi drivers, entrepreneurs, and other small business owners.
- And think of the PR value. While visiting journalists wait to cover the event, they will roam around town looking for story ideas, and most of the stories they file are likely be to positive.
Let's not forget: the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world's greatest tourist destinations.
I'm sure it wouldn't take much to convince visiting sports fans to extend their stay - either by a few hours or a few days - to partake of the many attractions that the region has to offer.
The NBA finals can run four to seven games, but that shouldn't matter. The date future victory parades should be set on the first Saturday or Sunday following the end of the series.
There's been talk of a Dub Dynasty. Will the Warrior three-peat next year? If so, I sincerely hope that the National Basketball Association , the Golden State Warriors, and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce is listening.
I would hate to miss out on yet another victory parade through the streets of my hometown.
Would love to hear your thoughts: should victory parades be held as early as possible following victory (even if it's a weekday or should they be held on the weekend?