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Playoffs, cycling race cause traffic concerns at LA Live this weekend

By Omar Shamout
Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 12:43PM
Flickr/David Jones

Heavy traffic is expected around Staples Center and L.A. Live this weekend as the venues will host three playoff games and a cycling race.

This weekend will be heaven for sports fans, but spectators making their way Downtown may be stuck in traffic purgatory as they travel to one of four major sporting events at L.A. Live on Saturday and Sunday.

Staples Center will host Game 3 of the Clippers and San Antonio Spurs second-round NBA playoff series at 12:30 on Saturday, while the Lakers will play Game 4 of their series against Oklahoma City at 7:30pm later that night. Sunday will see the L.A. Kings host Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference Finals series against the Phoenix Coyotes at noon, quickly followed by Game 4 between the Clippers and Spurs at 7:30pm.

As if that wasn’t enough, the AEG-sponsored Amgen Tour of California cycling race will conclude Sunday morning at the corner of Figueroa Street and Chick Hearn Court at roughly 11:50 a.m. AEG also owns and operates the Staples Center and L.A. Live venues.

“Come early; stay late,” advised Lee Zeidman, senior vice president and general manager of Staples Center, to the estimated 250,000 weekend attendees. He encouraged visitors to plan ahead and avoid any traffic headaches – especially on Sunday, when the following streets will be closed to traffic until the conclusion of the Amgen race:

  • Figueroa St. from Pico Blvd. to Olympic Blvd.
  • Chick Hearn Court from Flower St. to Georgia St.
  • Pico Blvd. from Flower St. to Figueroa St.
  • Flower St. from Pico Blvd. to 11th St.
  • Olympic Blvd. from Figueroa St. to Olive St.
  • Olive St., North of Olympic Blvd.
  • 11th St. from Flower St. to Hill St.
  • Hill St., north of 11th St.
  • On Sunday, paid parking will also be available at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Lots 5 and 6, with free shuttles to L.A. Live starting at 8:30 a.m. until one hour after the hockey game. Additionally, Staples Center will provide free coffee and donuts to ticketed fans until 10:30 a.m. as extra incentive to arrive early.

    MTA officials also recommended Angelenos take public transportation Downtown if possible.

    To allay any security concerns, LAPD Commander Andrew J. Smith said an “army” in excess of 100 motorcycle, surveillance and undercover officers will be dispersed around L.A. Live to ensure safety.

    AEG’s Senior Vice President of Communications, Michael Roth, said there was “no reason” to move the finish of the Amgen tour to a different location next year and avoid similar congestion concerns.

    “We anticipate playoffs every year,” Roth said.

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