This economy is really sucking the fun out of American life. People don't have any spare cash to spend on vacations or even a night out on the town, local governments are cutting back on services and raising taxes on things like iTunes and, now, they're cancelling Super Bowl victory parades.
Word out of Pittsburgh is that the Steelers won't be feted with a parade should they beat the Cardinals on Sunday. A parade is considered a "budget buster." When the Steelers won Super Bowl XL in 2006, the ensuing celebration cost the city $45,000, an amount that's too much in the current economic climate.
Pittsburgh's Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who "changed" his name to Steelerstahl earlier in the playoffs, said that nothing has been decided yet, but only because no one wants to jinx the Steelers before the big game. Another city official says that the city will have an "appropriate celebration" if the Steelers win, but didn't specify what form it will take.
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The economy isn't the only concern. 400 police officers will be tasked with shutting down several streets before the fourth quarter to avoid any spontaneous celebrations getting out of hand. 34 arrests were made after the Super Bowl XL victory, and the parade itself drew 250,000 celebrants and was deemed a public safety nightmare.
Given the dual concerns, it's hard to understand why the city would think of bothering with a parade. There have to be priorities when it comes to running a city, especially in hard times, and parades are pretty low down on the list. That goes for any kind of parade, not just one celebrating a sports team. A Steeler victory is as good a reason for a parade as any other, it's just not something that takes precedence over the city's budget or safety.