Free Pizza Celebrates a New LA Laker

Photos courtesy of Darin MILLER and Sheela PATEL
Lines at the La Cañada Blaze Pizza location filled the outside courtyard.


On Tuesday it was all about LeBron James coming to the LA Lakers at Blaze Pizza locations across Southern California.

The basketball star has been awarded Most Valuable Player four times, has three NBA championships and now joins the Los Angeles Lakers for a four-year contract that is reportedly worth over $153 million.

James became a free agent and recently accepted the offer to join the LA Lakers, which has Lakers’ fans going crazy, and many came to celebrate with free pizza.

“Just like so much of LA, we wanted to celebrate LeBron coming to the Lakers. It’s very relevant for us because LeBron is an investor in Blaze Pizza, and he’s actually a franchisee as well, so we decided to throw a big pop-up pizza party, giving away free pizzas at our greater LA locations for a few hours,” said Josh Levitt, spokesman for Blaze Pizza. “We’re thrilled to see such a big turnout.”

For Sheela Patel, one of the partners in the ownership of the La Cañada Flintridge Blaze, it was a fun and hectic day.

The staff of the La Cañada location was prepared for the upsurge in business.

The Blaze company contacted all the franchise owners in Southern California about a week before the free pizza event. Patel said Blaze does a similar event on Pi Day when pizzas are sold for $3.14, so owners know how busy it can be, but this may have been their most popular event.

“We had a week to get the schedule together,” she said. “We probably sold about 425 pizzas [on Tuesday].”

The line in La Cañada wound from the front door and through an outdoor seating area and down a sidewalk. Even with the heat and long wait, some patrons waiting as long as two hours, everyone seemed to be in the “Hooray for LeBron” mode.

“It was really positive for us in La Cañada,” Patel said. “We have such a great community.”

To keep people cool, Blaze employees handed out ice water to the crowd. The last person got into line at 5 p.m., the cut-off time, and waited until 6:30 p.m. to get his free pizza.

Patel said the experience was positive and they had prepared for the increase in business by bringing in more staff so everything ran smoothly.