Mayor: If Michigan wins national title, Ann Arbor will celebrate in style with parade Wednesday
If the University of Michigan basketball team wins the national championship Monday night, it's likely a parade will follow on Wednesday in Ann Arbor, said Mayor John Hieftje.
"The university has contacted us about a parade," Hieftje said on Monday afternoon. "We just had an initial query that asked, if they win, would we be able to have a parade. And of course we said, sure — we'll do everything we can to make it possible."
The procession would include the full team carrying the championship trophy, the band playing music and more. Hieftje said the university would invite alumni back for the event.
"It's all just being put together today, so everything is subject to change," Hieftje noted, adding the preparations will start in earnest Tuesday morning if the Wolverines win.
"I have suggested that we have a parade if we win or lose, but I think the university only wants to do it if they win," Hieftje said. "I suspect people would be happy to see it."
The university announced Sunday morning that it will be hosting a national title viewing party, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
Michigan students, faculty and staff will all get into the event free with their M-Card. General public tickets will cost $5, with proceeds going to the Athletic Department Scholarship Fund.
Seating is first-come, first-serve. The "Maize Rage" seating area will be reserved for students.
Michigan will take on Louisville for college basketball's national championship at 9:23 p.m. Monday (CBS) in Atlanta.
U-M spokesman Jim Kosteva said if Michigan wins the Final Four, the parade will include this year's basketball team as well as the national championship swimming and diving team.
"First thing's first," he said. "We're all hoping for the team to have a victory tonight. Secondarily, the city has to provide its full consent for the street closures and for the commitment of city personnel to assist with this effort, but we just wanted to at least be preparing and thinking ahead."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.