C’s loss cost Boston serious green
A victory celebration that never happened cost the cash-strapped city nearly $450,000 in police overtime as an army of cops hit the streets to control expected crowds of Boston Celtics [team stats] fans during the NBA Finals.
The Celts failed in their bid to win an 18th title, but a City Hall watchdog says the team should foot their fair share of the police OT bill just the same.
“The economy is down, but with the playoffs, money is coming in for the Celtics,” said Matthew Cahill, executive director of the Boston Finance Commission. “Taxpayers shouldn’t shoulder the complete burden of these things. It would only be just to share the burden of the police overtime.”
But it’s unlikely the Menino administration will go after the Green for the green, seeing it instead as a responsibility for the Police Department’s ranks of blue.
BPD spokesman Eddy Chrispin pointed out that the city, not the sports teams, traditionally pays for overtime following playoff games during title runs.
Cracking down on rowdy rooters outside the TD Garden and the Fenway bars on June 15 and 17 – Games 6 and 7 of the NBA Finals – cost $441,363, according to the Boston Police Department.
Cahill noted there is a history of partnership between the city and its teams to pay for police. The Celtics and local businesses helped pay for cops at championship parades in the past, most notably kicking in $350,000 – half of all noncop costs – when the Green Team hoisted its 17th banner in 2008.
Cahill, the city’s finance watchdog, said there’s nothing wrong with asking.
“It would be even better if the Celtics offered,” Cahill said. “They benefit financially from the playoffs.”
Calls and e-mails to the Celtics were not returned.
The nearly $450,000 paid for a dramatic show of force for the final two games of the 2010 NBA Finals, as Hub police brass sought to tamp down on shenanigans and mayhem that marred earlier sports celebrations.
In all, 3,159 officers over two days were used to keep a lid on violence in North Station and the Fenway. Police shut access to streets and barred patrons from entering taverns after the third quarter.
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