Crowds celebrating Warriors victory boisterous but not destructive
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU and wires) -- Large crowds who gathered on streets in Oakland and San Francisco Tuesday night to celebrate the Golden State Warriors' first NBA championship in 40 years were boisterous but generally peaceful and not destructive.
"We erased any doubt that Oakland can celebrate with style, with exuberance and class," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said outside City Hall Wednesday morning following the Warriors' victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to clinch the NBA Finals on Tuesday.
In Oakland, hundreds gathered downtown, with particularly large crowds gathered in the middle of 14th Street and Broadway and further Uptown, as revelers blocked Telegraph Avenue near 18th Street.
The revelers danced in the streets, chanted "MVP" for star player Stephen Curry, sprayed Champagne on one another and exchanged high-fives with strangers. Drivers blocked by the crowds generally seemed unperturbed by the disruption, with some even stepping out of their cars to briefly join in the festivities.
Others stood through their cars' sunroofs, or celebrated from the bed of a pickup truck. Occasional cars driving through the area spun out their tires, sending a cloud of smoke into the cheering crowd.
Fireworks boomed over 14th Street and Broadway, leading to at least one arrest as police moved in after a particularly large volley of explosions.
But the Warriors celebrations lacked the property destruction and confrontational atmosphere that has accompanied some of the city's frequent anti-police marches.
For the most part, officers hung back from the crowd, standing in front of windows frequently broken during protests, like the Chase bank on one corner and Downtown Wine Merchants on another.
There were scattered reports of gunshots throughout the city immediately after the game ended, but no reports of any injuries.
Oakland police said there were two arrests and eight citations issued for various violations, but of the thousands gathered throughout the city, "A large majority of people celebrated responsibly."
In San Francisco, large crowds gathered in the Mission District, along Union Street, Grant Avenue and near AT&T Park.
Twelve people were arrested, mainly for public intoxication, but one person was also arrested for resisting arrest and another was arrested near the corner of 24th and Mission streets for throwing a bottle at an officer, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza said today.
But overall there was little of the destruction that often accompanies sports victories -- particularly the San Francisco Giants' three recent World Series victories in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
The celebrations are not over. As soon as the Warriors' 105-97 Game 6 victory was in the books, preparations began for a parade through downtown Oakland and around the shore of Lake Merritt on Friday morning.
"It's going to be beautiful, it's going to be visual and it's going to be full of those famous Oakland fans who raised the roof on that
arena," Schaaf said Wednesday.
The parade will begin at Broadway and 11th Street and will continue north on Broadway before turning right on Grand Avenue, then right on Harrison Street to Lakeside Drive, which becomes Oak Street.
There will be a rally at the base of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center on the south end of Lake Merritt after the parade, Schaaf said.
The city is expecting a "huge" crowd, Schaaf said, but is well-prepared, as it was Tuesday night when it deployed extra officers to deal with celebrations and called on other cities' police departments for mutual aid.
Schaaf, an Oakland native, said she has been waiting 40 years for a Warriors victory herself.
"I'm so excited to be the mayor to see this victory," she said.