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Mayor Fenty: Max Crowds Mean Three Square Feet Per Person

Wonder how authorities came up with the idea that there could be 3 million to 4 million people at Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony and parade?

It appears the number wasn't arrived at by a rigorous analysis of how many plane, hotel and charter bus reservations have been made. Instead, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said the number was picked because that's the maximum that can fit on the National Mall and the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route, assuming each person takes up 3 square feet of space.

Appearing on a News Channel 8 talk show this week, Fenty said: "It would be impossible to know the number. Just no way to know. There's not an RSVP list. What we have done is hopefully estimated high. We say 3 to 5 million.

"It's like the Fourth of July every day on steroids for a week," the mayor continued. "People are going to be here, all downtown, excited. But realistically the reason we say 3 million or so [is because] that's how many people can fit on the Mall and the parade route. The parade route, about 350 [thousand], and the Mall, between 2 and 3 million, at this formula of one person every three square feet. That's what we're working on. If you get more, you'll have to go outside the mall area. But at some point, that's all that can fit to watch the swearing-in and the speech and the parade."

By David A Nakamura  |  December 12, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Parade , Swearing-in Ceremony
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Is this the most useless newspaper inauguration section ever?! Where do i find a schedule (e.g., this morning I read in the newspaper that the Mall will be opened up at 7am. What time does the parade actually start, and the swearing-in?)? Shouldn't I be able to find this stuff in, I don't know, the INAUGURATION WATCH section without having to look through 100 pseudo-blog posts?

Posted by: befuddled2 | December 12, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

It's because the parade time hasn't yet been announced. The swearing in is always at noon and has been referenced multiple times in this blog. Relax a little bit.

Posted by: ArlingtonVA3 | December 12, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

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