For the second year in a row, the Heat and the City of Miami are preparing to celebrate the 2013 NBA Championship with a downtown parade and rally at AmericanAirlines Arena. NBC 6's Hank Tester reports on safety and security at this year's parade.
For the second year in a row, the Heat and the City of Miami are preparing to celebrate the 2013 NBA Championship with a downtown parade and rally at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat Championship parade is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. The parade will begin at Southwest 8th Street and 2nd Avenue heading west on 8th Street to Brickell Avenue. It'll head north on Brickell then left on Biscayne Boulevard to the arena.
Southwest 8th Street will close to cars at 9 a.m. and will reopen as soon as the tail of the parade passes.
Miami Heat officials are cooperating with local, state and federal law enforcement as well as other service agencies to make sure the parade goes smoothly.
"The Miami Police Department already had its plans and today they are finalizing everything," Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said.
Miami Police said no backpacks will be allowed during the celebration this year as a safety measure.
"We always have an operation plan in place and we take precautiony measures to avoid any kind of situation," Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.
The parade plan will be similar to last year's.
"All we need to do is make a few improvements," Miami Heat official Lorrie-Ann Diaz said. "[Last year] we had a peaceful, wonderful, enjoyable parade."
Following the parade, there will be a private, ticketed rally inside the arena with the team. Only season ticket holders will be allowed inside.
The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 Thursday night to win back-to-back NBA Championships. Fans and the team celebrated into Friday morning, and now they'll get another chance to celebrate Monday.
Last year, tens of thousands of fans lined the streets of Miami for the victory parade, lining up the day before to get a look at their Heat heroes. Players, coaches and other team employees rode double-decker buses on their way to the arena.