The Golden State Warriors are bringing the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy back to the Bay Area, and they’re inviting everyone here for the party.
The team plans to parade through the streets of downtown San Francisco on Monday, just days after vanquishing the Boston Celtics in game six at TD Garden for their fourth championship in eight years.
This year’s parade will mark a change from previous celebrations, which were held across the Bay in Oakland. Here’s what you need to know about when it’s happening, how to get there and what to do if you can’t make it.
When and where is the parade happening?
The parade will start at 11:20 a.m. Monday and proceed from Market Street and Main Street down to 8th Street. It’s an extension of two blocks beyond what was originally planned.
The procession — which is expected to include Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the team’s players and coaching staff — will run about 1.4 miles before concluding at about 2 p.m. No post-parade rally is planned.
How do I get there?
The best advice is to arrive early for the best views — and to avoid the worst of the commute.
Muni is planning a series of re-routes due to the parade. The agency added that the Muni Metro subway is expected to provide the most direct route along Market Street.
BART plans to operate a dozen extra trains to accommodate the crowds. It’s recommending the Embarcadero, Montgomery Street, Powell Street, and Civic Center stations as useful stations to access the parade route.
The commute is expected to be busy, though BART officials are not sure exactly how the traffic will compare with previous parades, when the agency saw record ridership as several hundred thousand people crammed onto trains to celebrate. Ridership has been down significantly during the pandemic. And with so many people working from home, revelers may not have to contend with as many workers traveling to their offices.
“With post-pandemic realities and people not going to work, especially on a Monday, we’re just not sure what ridership is going to be like,” said Alicia Trost, a BART spokesperson. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to win riders back.”
One potential snag: The Red Line has been experiencing power issues this past week — prompting BART officials to voice uncertainty about whether the line will operate Monday. If it doesn’t, riders from the Richmond area may need to take the Orange Line and switch trains before arriving at the parade.
The agency expects all of its trains to be busiest from 9 to 11:20 a.m., as well as from about 1 to 3 p.m. And with so many people making their way downtown, the agency has asked people to be patient and follow normal train courtesies, such as moving to the center of each train when boarding.
Since the parade ends between the Powell and Civic Center stations, the agency has recommended that riders who arrive at Civic Center exit at the east end of the station toward Seventh Street.
Of note, the agency said that the Red (Richmond-Millbrae) and Yellow (Antioch-SFO) Line trains coming from the East Bay and going into downtown San Francisco may not stop at Montgomery Street Station before the parade. Those riders are being told to instead get off at the Embarcadero, Powell Street, or Civic Center stations, the agency said.
Also, riders at Embarcadero Station are being asked to avoid the entrance at Market and Main streets, because it opens to a private parade staging area.
Remember: Masks are required in all BART stations and on all trains. And the agency is waiving its $3 new-card fee for people who put a Clipper card on their cell phones through either Apple Pay or Google Pay. That’s because there’s a Clipper card shortage — highlighting the need for riders to pay digitally, Trost said.
What’s new and different about this year’s parade?
This year’s parade marks the first time in the Warriors’ recent run of championships that their victory parade will be hosted in San Francisco.
Previous parades in 2015, 2017 and 2018 were held in downtown Oakland, just down the road from their former home court at the Coliseum. But with the Warriors now playing across the Bay at the Chase Center, the team is keeping its celebration in San Francisco.
The last championship parade in the city came in 2014, when the San Francisco Giants captured their third World Series crown in five years by defeating the Kansas City Royals in seven games.
Past Warriors parades have been a wild affair. In 2015, at least several hundred thousand people crammed into downtown Oakland after their series victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two years later, the team gathered around Lake Merritt for a jubilant, confetti-filled celebration after once again beating the Cavaliers. And at its most recent parade in 2018, an estimated 1 million people reveled in the team’s third Finals victory over the Cavs in four years.
How did the Warriors get here?
The team’s route to the championship was unlike any of their other Finals victories over the last eight years.
Injuries kept the team’s Big Three — Curry, Thompson and Green — apart for most of the season, forcing their budding young players into action while the trio worked to get healthy. But once in the playoffs, the team quickly gelled — dispatching the Denver Nuggets in five games, the Memphis Grizzlies in six games and the Dallas Mavericks in five games.
After falling into a 2-1 hole against the Boston Celtics early in the NBA Finals, the Warriors stormed back by rattling off three straight wins — including two in the TD Garden.
Along the way, Curry collected the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP — the final piece of hardware that had eluded the prolific scorer. It was a recognition that may have cemented his legacy as one of the game’s greatest all-time players.
What if I can’t make it?
NBC Sports Bay Area will air live coverage of the parade and pre-parade festivities from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. On the radio, coverage can be found at 95.7 The Game.
Contributed by local news sources