Chicago Officials Draw Flak Over Show Attendance Numbers | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date






Airborne On ANN

Airborne 11.23.15

Airborne 11.24.15

Airborne 11.25.15

Airborne 11.19.15

Airborne 11.20.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 11.23.15

Airborne 11.24.15

Airborne 11.25.15

Airborne 11.19.15

Airborne 11.20.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

Tue, Aug 19, 2008

Chicago Officials Draw Flak Over Show Attendance Numbers

Estimate 3.1 Million Came To 50th Annual Air & Water Show

Hey, maybe they all came out to see Bill Murray's parachute jump. Attendance figures cited by the city of Chicago for last weekend's 50th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show invited skepticism, and called attention to the imperfect (cough) science of gauging crowd attendance at air shows and other large public events.

The Chicago Tribune reports city organizers estimate around 3.1 million people visited the show from Friday afternoon through Sunday... far above the usual 2 million visitor average the show has garnered in years past, when it was only a two-day affair.

That's an impressive number... but many say it's unlikely the show attracted an extra 1.1 million attendees for that extra half-day. By comparison, officials point out, the city's world-renowned Taste of Chicago festival pulled in 3.56 million people over 10 days.

Over-inflated attendance numbers are nothing new for air shows... but the matter isn't necessarily one of nefarious intent. Organizers in Chicago admit the method for calculating attendance numbers at large public events like the waterfront air show is an imperfect science, at best.

Cindy Gatziolis, spokeswoman for the Mayor's Office of Special Events, says aerial photographs of the crowds were compared against mathematical formulas used by police to estimate known crowd levels in a number of areas. Those numbers are then increased to account for new arrivals, who add to the crowd as others head home.

"We do see constant flow coming in and out," Gatziolis said.

And if Chicago's estimates are off... well, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened. Initially, officials said over a million people attended the 1979 papal mass by Pope John Paul II in Grant Park; months later, aerial photos showed the crowd to be somewhere between 65,000 and 350,000 people. That large spread is a prime example of how hard it is to estimate crowd levels, officials say.

In another infamous example, the National Park Service took flak for saying only 400,000 or so people attended the 1994 "Million Man March" on Washington, DC. A study by the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing later said the crowd was somewhere around 873,000, with a 15 percent margin of error.

Amidst allegations of deliberate undercounting for the racially-charged event, the Park Service stopped trying to count crowd levels.

Though questions will likely remain for some time regarding how many really attended Chicago's air show, there are signs attendance was definitely up. Over 9,000 programs were sold, 3,000 more than in past years... a number roughly in keeping with the 50 percent increase in attendance cited by officials.

Organizers ran out of press credentials Friday afternoon, and some souvenir stands ran out of products to sell by Saturday. (And Bill's jump went fine, too.)

FMI: Official Show Website



More News

Airborne 11.25.15: Blue Origin Reusable Rocket!, AMA Reacts, Transgender Pilots

Also: UK CAA, E-Fest 2015, Citizens In Space, Gulfstream G500, Dassault Falcon Jet, CFM LEAP-1A, Tuskegee's Milton Crenchaw ANN Airborne Link: /index.cfm?do=video.playVideo&vid>[...]

Klyde Morris (11.20.15)

Klyde Is SO Ready For An Upgrade... FMI:>[...]

FlightSafety International Further Enhances Gulfstream G650 Training

Simulator Upgrades Include Autobrake Systems For Initial And Recurrent Training FlightSafety continues to enhance its Gulfstream G650 training program with upgrades to the simulato>[...]

Spirit Begins Production Of First Production RAAF P-8A

Aircraft Scheduled For Delivery In Early 2016 Spirit AeroSystems Inc. has begun production of the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) first production P-8A aircraft. Spirit started>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (11.30.15)

"ICARUS is going to revolutionize how we approach pilot training. It provides experience to student pilots that we cannot provide right now outside of a simulator. This product wil>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus





© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC