Villanova made history when the men’s basketball team crushed Michigan on Monday night in the NCAA championship game, 79-62.
Now the Wildcats will get honored with a victory parade right through Center City on Thursday, April 5. Nova and their fans will march down Market Street on Thursday morning before holding a celebration rally in Dilworth Park.
The parade comes just three months after the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl victory was celebrated with a massive parade down the Parkway that attracted roughly 1 million fans to Philadelphia. Nova’s last NCAA championship win in 2016 was accompanied by a victory parade through Philly that drew more than 50,000 fans.
It remains to be seen if this year’s parade will attract a similar crowd, but the city is already preparing for a huge crowd, with plans to shut down streets in Center City West ahead of Thursday’s parade.
According to the city, the parade will start around 11 a.m. at Market and 20th streets and proceed east before making a victory loop around City Hall and ending in a victory rally at Dilworth Park. But “parade elements” are expected to begin assembling across the Market Street bridge as early as 9 a.m., the city said.
SEPTA bus routes that travel down Market Street will be on detour for the duration of the parade and associated set-up, from around 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Dilworth Park SEPTA entrance will be closed around 9 a.m. and reopened “as conditions allow,” the city said.
Parking will be banned on Market Street and JFK Boulevard near the parade route starting at 6 a.m. on April 5.
Road closures will be staggered over the course of the parade and reopened as Wildcats fans move on. At various times on April 5, the following roads will be closed to accommodate the Villanova marchers.
2000-2900 Market Street (9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
1600-1900 Market Street, along with 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th streets from JFK Boulevard to Chestnut Street. (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
1500 Market Street, 15th Street from Race to Chestnut, S. Penn Square from 15th to Broad Street (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
The area of the parade route will also be designated a no-drone zone.