Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Report Card: Boston Bruins Parade

By Zach Baru

Boston Bruins: A+

For the lucky fans that were able to attend the parade, last Saturday was an amazing opportunity to see so many of the players up close, and experience the excitement that can only be fulfilled in the midst of a Stanley Cup.  Everything from the production to logistics was excellently planned out, and made for a great celebration.  This included not only the players, but all personnel.  Everyone from coaches, to scouts, to media, to front office was on hand to celebrate.

Many signs were placed on the duck boats so that fans could easily read who was on each boat.  The organization was excellent.  What was really a nice touch was the fact that players were able to communicate with the fans via microphones and speakers on the floats.  The players shouted messages to the crowd, giving the fans a real chance to feel a part of the celebration.

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority: D+

First, the stats:

Number of passengers on commuter rail Saturday (the day of parade): 120,000
Number of passengers on commuter rail normally for weekdays: 67,000
Number of commuter rail trains added for parade: 90

Although there were plenty of fans who were able to take commuter rail, subways, and busses to the parade route, there were also many fans who were simply shut out.  For Boston, a city of 645,000 people, that is just not acceptable.  There most certainly should have been a better plan for transportation to and from the parade route.  The MBTA has been through championship parades seven times since 2004, and has no excuse not to have done the job right. 

Many of the commuter trains were run without double decker cars, which would have vastly increased the amount of passengers able to ride the trains to the parade route.  In addition, during the parade, many sets of trains were spotted vacant in the yard just outside of North Station.  Whether it be a lack of planning, or a lack of staffing, the bottom line is the MBTA failed to do it's job.

Boston Police Department and Boston Fire Department: A+

Besides the fact that an estimated 1,000,000 plus people attended the parade, the route went past countless bars with an unbelievably controlled crowd.  The overall behavior was something that not only the city should be proud of, but the Police and Fire departments should be proud of as well.  It was an excellent execution on their part to pull off such a large parade in such little time.  The many police and fire dispatched to the parade were a large reason for the peaceful and organized outcome of the parade.

City of Boston: B-

Overall, the city should be celebrating due to the fact that the parade was held on a weekend, greatly impacting the Boston economy.  Not only did the restaurants, bars and hotels see a substantial one-day revenue increase, but stores of all kinds saw new customers who may soon return.  Not to mention the fact that Saturday was one giant commercial for the city, showcasing all of the great attractions Boston has to offer.  

On the other hand, the transportation mess was inexcusable, certainly with the many modes of travel that the city has to offer.  And with the parade partially being an advertisement for the city, more money could have been put into production costs.  This would have given the presentation a more eye-catching effect to the millions who viewed it either on news broadcasts, sports broadcasts, and internet media worldwide.

Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at

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