We're all pretty excited about the Mavs winning the NBA national championship on Sunday. It's no question that we've all waited a long time for this to happen and no one deserves it more than the Mavs do. They played with their hearts and they played like friggin' champions.
Now that the Mavs are back in Dallas, what better way to congratulate our home team than to celebrate with hundreds of thousands of fans at the Victory Parade this Thursday downtown.
The parade will start at 10:00am at City Hall and will make its way down Victory Avenue and end in Victory Park. There's a one-and-a-half mile stretch of real estate to get yourself situated to see the coaches, players and fans get crazy excited. The parade will feature Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, founding owner Don Carter, Mavs President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson, Mavs President/CEO Terdema Ussery, Coach Rick Carlisle, and all of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks players, coaches, support staff and their families.
In case you're wondering who's footing the bill, Mark Cuban. Cuban told ESPN.com:
“All I told them was — Terdema Ussery, our president — you plan the parade. I’ll pay for it because I don’t think it’s right for the city to have to pay for it. And let’s just have some fun.”
Best. Owner. Ever.
Since there hasn't been a championship parade in Dallas since the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, we thought we would create a guide to making the most out of this Championship Parade.
PARKING & TRANSPORTATION FOR THE PARADE
The city is expecting a lot of people to attend, close to 250,000 people. It might be safe to say that most of these people are going to go straight to American Airlines Center (AAC) to park, so you might want to avoid that area for parking all together. On the AA Center website, they've already announced there will be limited parking at the AA Center and to try parking in the West End and even downtown. Check the street closures, they've listed quite a few. You might find some street parking in Uptown and then take a stroll along the Katy Trail to AAC. Watch out for the morning runners.
If you drive, your safest bet is to carpool with some friends, find a parking garage or surface lot downtown, split the parking fee and walk to the parade downtown or to Victory Park. For updates on parking, traffic and crowd control, the Dallas Police Department will have live updates posted to facebook.com/DallasPD and twitter.com/DallasPD.
If you'd like to avoid parking all together, take DART. Our city's public transportation, DART is adding additional services to support the crowds going to the Mavericks parade and after-parade events. They are adding extra rails and buses, plus running the trains every 10 minutes instead of 15. From their website:
The parade route is an easy walk from any of these stations: Akard, West End, Union or Convention Center. Akard and West End serve Red, Blue and Green lines. Union and Convention Center serve the Red and Blue lines.
Here's a tip: Take the Green Line. Green Line trains will operate with three cars through the event. It connects you directly with Victory Station and there's plenty of parking at North Carrollton/Frankford, Trinity Mills, Bachman, Market Center, Buckner, Lake June and Lawnview stations.
Find more information and a DART schedule at http://www.dart.org.
ARRIVAL TO THE PARADE
You've arrived at the parade, now what? Well, if you're there early and downtown, grab some breakfast or coffee before staking your claim on the parade route. Visit The Lily Cafe in Main Street Garden Park or Mercantile Cafe .
For the Victory Park goers, I'm sorry to say there's not much in the way of a coffee shop or breakfast place near by. I bet some food trucks would make a killing out there.
Local resources are reporting that people will wait up to three hours for the festivities to begin, which is another reason to carpool with friends.
WHAT TO BRING TO THE MAVERICKS PARADE
- Sunscreen (weather report says mostly sunny and high in the 90's)
- Cash for vendors, parking, etc.
- Streamers, confetti, etc.
THE PUBLISHED SCHEDULE & PARADE ROUTE
- 8:00am - AT&T Plaza opens
- 9:00am - Merchandise tables open on AT&T Plaza
- 10:00am - 1:30pm - Victory Parade and Celebration broadcast on AT&T Plaza HD big-screen TV
- 1:30pm - Season Ticketholder-Only After-Party at ACC. This event will also be live streamed on AT&T Plaza HD big-screen TV
Parade Route: Dallas City Hall to the American Airlines Center
- Parade starts at Dallas City Hall - head west on Young Street
- Turn Right on Houston Street - going under Woodall Rogers
- Go Left at Continental
- Right on Victory Avenue
- Parade ends at the America Airlines Center
STICKING AROUND AFTER THE PARADE
Fans can stick around the AAC to watch the after-party streamed on the HD big-screen or there are plenty of restaurants, sports bar and visitor attractions opening up around the time the parade is over. Main/Elm St. downtown has several sports bars to continue the celebration - City Tavern, Ten Sports Grill and Press Box Grill are a few.
WATCH THE PARADE LIVE
Once again, Congratulations to the 2011 NBA World Champions! You got it done.