MIAMI — And now … the parade.
Weather dependent, a half million fans could converge on downtown Miami for the procession of champions.
The Miami Heat’s second straight NBA championship celebration will follow much of the same script written a year ago. The parade will snake through the downtown streets starting at 11 a.m., ending at AmericanAirlines Arena for an invite-only celebration.
The city of Miami also announced backpacks will not be allowed for those attending the event.
The parade, which will air on Sun Sports, will begin in Brickell at the corner of Southwest Eighth Street and Second Avenue heading east before turning left on Brickell Avenue. The route will turn onto Biscayne Boulevard for the final stretch into the arena.
Only season ticket holders will be allowed inside AmericanAirlines Arenas for the final portion of the event. The City of Miami announced there will be no public viewing on the screens outside the facility. The public portion of the events are expected to end by 2 p.m., the city estimated.
Experiencing the excitement will require an early arrival.
A year ago, an estimated 400,000-500,000 fans packed the 2-mile parade route under threatening skies. Players rode on red double-decker buses with the Larry O’Brien trophy prominently displayed.
Traffic snarled I-95 and city streets with thousands more who never came close to the celebration. Even the SunPass lanes southbound were backed up miles even after the parade began.
Parking prices in downtown lots reached game-day levels as well. The 2012 crowd dwarfed the numbers from the 2006 version.
An estimated 250,000 hit Biscayne Boulevard to revel in the first of the Heat’s three titles.
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