PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia officials say there were a few injuries and minor incidents, but overall, yesterday’s Eagles parade went off as planned.
Police, fire, streets department, emergency management and authorities in surrounding suburbs all played a part in the day’s success, says Mayor Jim Kenney, and he also thanked the fans.
“It makes me so proud to see hundreds of thousands of fans express their appreciation for this team and to show their Philly pride. For the most part, the fans did their part to make the city look great,” said Kenney.
Event producer Fred Stein says the parade started exactly on time and only got delayed by players jumping off the bus to greet the crowd.
“And it made it so much the better,” said Stein.
Stein says less pleasant surprises included aircraft violating overfly restrictions, just as fireworks went over below them, and the loss of a very expensive jumbotron when fans climbed on it.
Streets Commissioner Carlton Williams noted how quickly his staff cleaned the jumbo-size mess left by fans off most city streets.
“They said they were happy to work the long hours to serve at such a historic event and they’ll be excited to do it again, next year,” said Williams.
Any foul play during the parade was minor, said Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who tallied damage such as four police cars dented by fans climbing on them, two stabbing victims who are expected to survive, an officer who was assaulted by a woman trying to get onto the parade route and two arrests for assault. People attempting to scale a Jumbotron knocked over the huge video screen.
Social media posts popped up Friday showing a bus blocking views for some fans near Broad and Chestnut Streets. Philadelphia police say the bus was used to transport officers to call after fans topped the video board.
“The blame for that one lies on us. And I assure you it was unintentional,” said Ross.
Maintenance crews worked overnight, picking up trash left behind by fans who watched the team travel in open-top double decker buses from their stadium to the art museum steps made famous in the “Rocky” movies. Coach Doug Pederson walked part of the 5-mile route while carrying the Lombardi Trophy, allowing fans to touch the gleaming hardware. Center Jason Kelce, wearing what looked like a genie outfit, gave voice to every frustrated Philly fan with an impassioned and profane speech.
“We were a bunch of underdogs,” shouted Kelce, channeling Rocky. “Bottom line is we wanted it more!”
One crowd safety expert estimates 700,000 people attended the parade, however, the head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management believe it’s much higher.
“Based on our experience with other large events on the Parkway, we feel it was well above 700,000. Certainly below some of the higher numbers we’ve seen through social media,” said Dan Bradley.
Thursday’s parade was tame in comparison to impromptu celebration that broke out Sunday after the Eagles’ defeated the New England Patriots 41-33. In the hours after the Super Bowl victory, fans overturned a car, shattered storefront windows, ate horse feces, collapsed a hotel’s awning and hit the police commissioner in the head with a bottle.
Parade organizers prepared for as many as 2 million people.
The parade cost is still being calculated, the mayor said.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)