1 Million People in Times Square For New Year's? Expert Says Not Possible

Times Square likely has fewer than 100,000 revelers on New Year’s Eve, dramatically less than city officials’s estimates, according to an expert interviewed by The Associated Press. New York City authorities have claimed in recent years that the annual ball drop has drawn two million people to the five block-area between 7th Avenue and Broadway, and this figure was once again cited on Friday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. G. Keith Still, a crowd science professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, told the AP that the crowd probably totals fewer than 100,000. “Generally, people are overestimating crowd sizes by 10- to 100-fold,” Still said. “To actually fit 1 million revelers, the city would have to jam more than the equivalent of a sold-out Yankee Stadium on every block of 7th Avenue between Times Square and Central Park — which starts about 15 blocks to the north,” the AP explained. Charles Seife, a mathematician and journalist who’s a professor at New York University, surmised that officials may want to tout a larger-than-life figure because it “helps cement the image of New York City as the center of the universe at a certain date and time.” “How do you count a participant in the Times Square ball drop?” Seife reportedly said. “Is it everyone who can see the ball, or anyone squeezed into a bar in Manhattan?”