For those who oppose building a stadium downtown because, they argue, we just can't handle the traffic, this weekend could be the ultimate test:
It's being called the perfect storm of sports events: The Lakers, Clippers and Kings are all playing in playoffs at Staples Center this weekend. And a bike race, with road closures, is coming through Sunday morning. Staples officials will release parking-lot maps for weekend visitors tomorrow, they tell us.
Staples spokesman Michael Roth tells the Weekly it's all good:
It's fantastic. The infrastructure downtown clearly supports this.
Whether this is a test of the traffic- and parking-handling abilities of the proposed, 72,000-seat, $1.2-billion plus Farmers Field football stadium next to Staples remains to be seen.
Roth says it's not: This weekend will be unlike any other, even during NFL season.
He notes that Staples, whose parent would be building the stadium, has vowed not to hold events during football games:
People coming to a football game, it's one event. Staples center would not be having a game at the same time. We've committed to that. In that sense it is not relavent to compare the two.
12:30 pm - Spurs vs Clippers, Game 3, Staples Center
7:10 pm - Cardinals vs Dodgers, Dodger Stadium
7:30 pm - Thunder vs Lakers, Game 4, Staples Center
Then on Sunday May, 20
Noon (probably more like 12:20) - Coyotes vs Kings, Game 4, Staples Center
5:00 pm - Cardinals vs Dodgers, Dodger Stadium
7:30 pm - Spurs vs Clippers, Game 4, Staples Center
Yeah. Add to that the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race, which will be wrapping up Sunday morning. It will shut down Flower Street, Figueroa Street and Pico Boulevard temporarily (PDF map). But it will be done by noon.
Roth says that, besides tomorrow's distribution of parking maps, Staples organizers will be ready with two temporary pedestrian bridges over Flower and Figueroa. And they're coordinating with the LAPD and the city department of transportation. Staples will open at 9 a.m. Sunday for Kings fans, too.
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The new Metro Expo Line can now drop you off steps from Staples Center from the Westside.
"Metro told us that in the last 12 hours they had a big uptick in the number of inquiries to the website about ways to get downtown," Roth says.
Check the Staples Center website for parking and traffic info.