LAPD Chief Says Outsiders Without Tickets Won't Be Allowed Near Staples For Lakers Final
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and police Chief Charlie Beck on Wednesday warned outsiders not to come to the Staples Center area during and after Thursday's final game in the team's championship series against the Boston Celtics. Outsiders without business at Staples would be stopped in their tracks, Beck said. "If you do not have a ticket, do not come downtown," he told reporters at an afternoon news conference. "You will not get through anyway."
"There will be hundreds of Los Angeles police officers in and around Staples Center tomorrow," Beck said. " ... We do not celebrate victory by destroying the city."
Officials want to avoid the kind of mini-riot -- including fires, looting and mayhem -- that took place outside Staples after the Lakers won last year's NBA championship.
"If you don't have a ticket for game seven ... save money, save gas by celebrating at or near your home," Villaraigosa said.
Of course, tomorrow's face-off with Boston could be complicated by the staging of the Los Angeles Film Festival downtown, with screenings to begin at the Staples' adjacent LA Live complex at 7:30 p.m., when the game will be in full swing. And the E3 Expo, a gamers convention, will be wrapping up at the Convention Center next door to Staples about the same time the game starts.