Backpacks prohibited for Miami Heat championship parade

The champion Heat will make another celebratory journey through the streets of Miami, but this time backpacks will be banned after the Boston bombings.

06/22/2013 12:05 AM

09/23/2013 6:52 PM

The Heat repeated. Now it’s the city’s turn to do the same.

The Heat will celebrate its third NBA championship — and second in as many years — with a now-familiar jaunt through Miami on Monday. Most of the details, including the starting time (11 a.m.), are the same as when the Heat won the title in 2012.

There is one significant difference: this time backpacks are prohibited, a reflection of the Boston Marathon bombings from earlier this year.

The Heat’s victory march will again wrap through downtown Miami and culminate at AmericanAirlines Arena with an invite-only victory rally.

Only season-ticket holders will be granted entry into the arena.

The procession will begin at the corner of Southwest Eighth Street and Second Avenue at 11 a.m., head east on Eighth, then north on Brickell Avenue across the bridge and north on Biscayne Boulevard to the arena. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets last year to catch a glimpse of the Heat as the team rolled by.

With so many people expected to pour into the city’s urban core on a work day, parking and traffic will be dicey. Southwest Eighth Street will close at around 9 a.m. and open when the parade’s tail passes. Other roads along the route will only be closed briefly to let the parade pass by.

Officials are urging out-of-towners to utilize public transportation. Fans coming down from the north can take the 595 Express public bus, which departs at 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. from the BB&T Center in Sunrise and travels to Brickell Plaza along the parade route. Tri-Rail, which runs from Fort Lauderdale to 79th Street, is adding a southbound train to its regular schedule. Those who take Tri-Rail should get off at the 79th Street transfer station and take Metrorail and Metromover downtown.

Furthermore, the Port of Miami will stop inbound and outbound traffic from 11:15 a.m. to noon to allow for the passage of the parade caravan.

Early Friday morning, the celebrations throughout the region were far more spontaneous. Pots-and-pans-pounding South Floridians swarmed to familiar haunts — Biscayne Boulevard, Bird Road and 49th Street in Hialeah — immediately after the game ended, and stayed there well into the night. Miami Police Major Delrish Moss, a department spokesman, said there were no reports of postgame violence.

“Just a lot of celebration,” Moss said. “A lot of noise in the streets.”

As for the champions themselves, the Heat partied through the night at South Beach’s popular Story nightclub.

“They have demonstrated perseverance and an unconquerable will to win,” Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said. “The Miami Heat has made the City of Miami shine in the eyes of the world.”

Added Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez: “The Heat have given our entire community so much pride, joy and excitement — maybe a little anxiety, too — and [Thursday] night’s victory tops it all.”

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