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LAPD to Deploy "Extraordinary Resources" for Thursday Night's NBA Finals Game 7

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at 06:17PM
Game 7 Press Conference Eric Richardson [Flickr]

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAFD Chief Millage Peaks in urging those without tickets to stay away from Thursday's NBA Finals Game 7.

Downtowners should expect to see a heavy police presence Downtown Thursday evening for Game 7 of the NBA Finals. City officials are determined to prevent any disturbance like the one that took place last June after the Lakers won their 15th NBA Championship in Orlando.

"Last year we were deployed too sparingly for an away game," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told media today. "That won't happen this year. We have four or five times as many police officers deployed in and around Staples Center for tomorrow."

"We'll have our horse units here, we'll have our bike units here, we'll have our motorcycle officers here, we will have all kinds of tactical units here," Beck continued. "It's not only about quantity, it's about the different types of policing and the strategies in which we use them."

The crowd that assembled outside Staples Center last year grew and became rowdy after the Lakers clinched in Game 6. Fires were started on Chick Hearn Court, a Metro bus was vandalized and both a nearby sneaker shop and Shell station were looted.

The chief declined to give any hard numbers for Thursday, but said that he would be deploying "extraordinary resources."

He joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAFD Chief Millage Peaks in sending a message to those without tickets to the game.

"If you don't have a ticket for Game 7, we encourage you to spend this time with family and friends," Villaraigosa said. "Save money [and] save gas by celebrating at or near your home, not by coming Downtown or to Staples Center."

Those who live near the arena should prepare for a busy night in their neighborhood. Along with Game 7, which tips off at 6pm, the L.A. Live complex will also be hosting opening night for the L.A. Film Festival at Regal Cinemas, Video Games Live at Nokia Theatre and a late concert at the Conga Room. The E3 video game convention will conclude just an hour before the game begins.

Street closures will start soon after the game begins and will spread as the evening goes on.

  • 1st Quarter: Chick Hearn Court from Albany to Figueroa
  • Halftime: Figueroa from Olympic to Pico; all of Cherry street; 12th from Figueroa to Flower and from Albany to Cherry
  • 4th Quarter: Pico from Albany to Flower; Figueroa from Olympic to Washington; Flower from Olympic to Venice

"We try to facilitate the exit of traffic, but also try to make sure that people don't come just to be on Staples Center property after the game to celebrate," Beck explained. We don't want the celebration to occur here after the game."

The Mayor made sure to note that he had no intention of jinxing the team with the announcement. "The Lakers have a very tough game against a very tough opponent tomorrow. We certainly don't want to get ahead of ourselves."

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