Warriors Parade: Go here for Warriors 2022 parade live updates from Market Street in San Francisco
After 27 pandemic months of economic strains, emptied sidewalks and palpable decay, San Francisco’s Market Street will be in the spotlight Monday for a strikingly different reason: a celebratory parade.
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But as city officials and local business groups spent a hectic weekend preparing for the masses arriving to cheer the Golden State Warriors’ NBA championship triumph over the Boston Celtics, they also kept their fingers crossed that the moment would boost the long struggling boulevard in a bigger way.
“Market Street since the pandemic has felt empty, sort of a ghost town,” said Marisa Rodriguez, executive director of the Union Square Alliance, which is funded by property owners to provide maintenance and services to a 20-block district including three blocks of Market Street. “A parade like this is a way to remind our Bay Area residents that the heart of our city is beating strong, and it still offers people something different than what they can get at home.”
That positive reminder will be in contrast to negative messages like the proliferation of “for lease” signs on storefronts in the mile-long stretch of Market between Main and Eighth streets where the Warriors parade will march. Or the blocks on either side of United Nations Plaza, where conditions related to drug dealing and large numbers of unhoused people prompted Mayor London Breed to declare a state of emergency last winter.
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Discussions about a possible parade began as soon as the Warriors battled their way to the NBA finals, said Beth Rubenstein, a spokesperson for San Francisco Public Works. They kicked into high gear as the Warriors clinched the championship on Thursday evening. On Friday afternoon, the city organized a call with several dozen officials and neighborhood leaders.
By Sunday afternoon, clusters of metal barricades along the Mid-Market corridor were in bunches waiting to be deployed to block off the parade route. Two representatives of the nonprofit street assistance group Urban Alchemy were at the ready, but not in any rush to get the street completely cleaned.
“If we clean it now, what will be left for the morning crew to do?” said one.
At the Proper, a boutique hotel with 60 rooms on six floors, all of the rooms facing the Market Street parade route were reserved, said Ana Kutle, director of rooms.
“We’ve had a lot of last-minute bookings and those people have been asking for them,” she said. “They’ve also been asking if the rooftop bar will be open during the parade, which it won’t. But the restaurant patio, with tables on Market Street, will.”
All other retailers on the strip planned to be open, though Bait, a streetwear store between Seventh and Eighth, might not open until after the parade passes.
“We don’t want any snatch and runs,” said Angel Santos, a store associate. They also don’t want any damage to the 10-foot statue of Stephen Curry that stands inside the door. But they are considering moving it outside so Steph can greet Steph when the Warriors leader rolls by in his parade car.
Oxford Street, a souvenir clothing store on the same block, was sold out of everything with Curry on it by Sunday, and everything with a championship logo on it. “Sweatshirts, championship T-shirts, shoes. Everything is gone, gone, gone,” said Ty, a sales associate. “I didn’t even get anything myself, and I work here.”
Generic Warriors hats and T-shirts with a “Dynasty” motif were all that was left, and those will be prominently displayed during the parade. “We’ve got to get rid of those ‘Dynasty’ shirts,” Ty said.Warriors’ Championship Parade
Out front, Bay Wheels was moving its fleet of for-hire bicycles from the Ferry Building down to Mid-Market, where they will be available for rental during the parade.
“They always get damaged,” said Kuanisha Mayers, who was riding the bikes down a ramp from the truck and to the sidewalk stall. “I just hope people mind their liquor and be safe.”
The logistical details for the parade are similar to other large civic events, Rubenstein said. This includes the San Francisco Pride Parade, which will take place Sunday and promises to be at least as large.
“We already have a template for something like this,” Rubenstein said. “Our city does a lot of celebrations at this scale. Not one a month, but five or six each year.”
This won’t be the first time that sports fans from the across the region flock to Market Street for a feel-good event, of course; enormous joyous parades for the Giants after the baseball team won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 came and went without reversing the fortunes of San Francisco’s best-known boulevard.
Even so, an event of this nature coming after years of bad news can’t help but raise the hopes of people invested in downtown’s future.
“It’s like medicine. People have been struggling — something like this is a blessing,” said Kelly Powers, director of the Hotel Council of San Francisco. “The parade will be shown all over the world, and all the scenic beauty shots, and that’s good marketing for the city.”
Sam Whiting has been a staff writer at The San Francisco Chronicle since 1988. He started as a feature writer in the People section, which was anchored by Herb Caen’s column, and has written about people ever since. He is a general assignment reporter with a focus on writing feature-length obituaries. He lives in San Francisco and walks three miles a day on the steep city streets.Written ByJohn KingReach John on
John King is The San Francisco Chronicle’s urban design critic, taking stock of everything from Salesforce Tower to sea level rise and how the pandemic is redefining public space. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of two books on San Francisco architecture, King joined The Chronicle in 1992 and covered City Hall before creating his current post. He is an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.VIEW COMMENTSTop of the News