sports

Few hiccups during Eagles Super Bowl parade, city says

Holly Otterbein, Staff Writer

Updated: Friday, February 9, 2018, 6:08 PM

One day after the epic parade celebrating the Eagles Super Bowl victory, city officials were reckoning with the aftermath and totalling bills for everything from cleanup to porta potties and police coverage.

The Democratic National Convention. Pope Francis’ visit. The NFL draft.

Over the last few years, Philadelphia has become a premier destination for high-profile events. So how did the city do at holding the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade?

Mayor Kenney said the parade was a resounding success — and that the “knucklehead contingent” at the celebration was small.

“For the most part, the fans did their part to make the city look great,” Kenney said at a news conference Friday, where city officials took stock of the epic civic celebration and catharsis. “The number of incidents were really quite small.”

But others looked at the parade’s aftermath — the handful of arrests, the tons of trash left behind, the hours that some waited for public transit — and thought things could have gone better.

“Our block on Brandywine was a trash-filled, urine-soaked mess,” said Fairmount resident Karen Flynn.

The nearly five-mile parade route ran from Broad Street and Pattison Avenue to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and ended with a rally in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said officers made two arrests during Thursday’s parade. One woman ran onto the parade route and assaulted a police officer, he said. There was another assault of a person, as well as five citations for disorderly conduct, according to police. Two stabbings were reported, though police don’t know whether one had to do with the parade.

Fred Stein, the planning “wizard” behind the parade, said the city “lost one Jumbotron” in the chaos. No, revelers didn’t somehow lug it home: Stein said they destroyed it by climbing it for a better view.

There were 992 emergency medical services runs and 134 fire runs Thursday across the city, according to municipal officials. There were also three structure fires. Kenney said that is slightly higher, but not too different, than the numbers of fires and emergency runs on an average day in Philadelphia.

SEPTA, on the other hand, had anything but a typical Thursday: The agency estimated it had 65,000 to 70,000 Regional Rail riders and 395,108 trips on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines. Though SEPTA logged one medical issue at Jefferson station, which caused delays, Scott Sauer, assistant general manager of operations, said he was proud the agency moved so many people without injury.

Immediately after the parade, trash on the Parkway included a propane grill, plastic lawn chairs, couch cushions, a balaclava, a shopping tote, a roll of toilet paper, a tarp and much, much more. In fact, the parade broke the city’s trash record: There were 60 tons of garbage left on the streets, more than at any other event in the city’s history.

Streets Commissioner William Carlton said “the clean-up operation went according to plan.” Friday’s efforts would include picking up “overflow” trash in neighborhoods near the route, he said.

Flynn agreed with city officials that sanitation employees “worked really hard.” But she said she wished the city had placed porta-potties in neighborhoods surrounding the parade. Eagles fans, she said, “were literally lining up to pee in corners on people’s property. … I don’t want people to think we don’t want them to come or have fun. I just wish the city had thought it through a little bit more.”

Others on social media asked if Thursday’s after-effects would have been looked at in a different light if the circumstances were changed.

“Two people were stabbed and a police officer was assaulted,” tweeted one person. “Would this be described as a ‘few hiccups’ if it happened during a Black Lives Matter rally?”

It is unclear how much of Thursday’s tab will be picked up by taxpayers.

Stein said the Eagles will pay for the parade and the Art Museum event, excluding costs like police and sanitation. He estimated that the team will spend from $2 million to $3 million, though bills are not final yet.

However, Kenney said the city and Eagles had not agreed beforehand on how to apportion the costs, and those are still being calculated. He said discussions with the team are ongoing and anticipated that the estimated cost to taxpayers would be released within a week or two.

As far as an economic benefit, Kenney said bars, restaurants and hotels likely saw an uptick in business.

But, he said, “you can’t put a price on the psychic benefit we experienced.”

“This week has been one of the greatest weeks in Philadelphia history,” Kenney added. “I saw all walks of life united by their love of this team and their love of the city.”

Staff writers William Bender, Jason Laughlin, Frank Kummer, and Julia Terruso contributed to this article.

Holly Otterbein, Staff Writer

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