The U.S. women’s soccer team winning the World Cup hardly qualifies as a surprise anymore—they’ve won it three times. What has been a pleasant surprise has been the response to their success. Sunday’s win was the most-watched soccer game ever in the U.S., the team’s stars were in high demand making TV appearances galore in the aftermath, and the squad was feted in Los Angeles on Tuesday by an adoring and boisterous crowd. On Friday, the team will get a distinctly New York celebration with a tinker-tape parade.
The ticker-tape parade, these days, is usually reserved for New York-based champions. The women’s team will be the first non-New York team to be given the honor in three decades and the first women’s team ever, according to the New York Times. Here’s more from the Times:
For years the city has generally shunned the expense and traffic-clogging of ticker-tape parades unless a local professional team hoisted a trophy…. The most recent non-sports parade came a year earlier, to congratulate John Glenn and his crew members from the space shuttle Discovery. It drew an estimated crowd of 500,000; a ticker-tape parade held the previous month for the Yankees drew an estimated 3.5 million people. The city last honored a group of national athletes in 1984, when Olympic medal winners were saluted after the Los Angeles games. Manhattan’s business improvement district, 130 of the city’s 205 ticker-tape parades occurred from 1945 to 1965. They included parades for national political figures (Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower twice) and foreign ones (Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands).
The ticker-tape parade first started in New York City in 1886 when Wall Street workers would use the paper strips normally used in the stock ticker to print financial data on to throw as a means of celebration. The rest is history as the ticker-tape parade down the so-called Canyon of Heroes in lower Manhattan became a New York-style symbol of celebration.