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Two million at Phillies' parade? Not likely.

Nov 29, 2009, 11:57 AM EDT

philliesparade.jpgWhat happens when baseball writers
are bored during the Thanksgiving holiday? They try to find out if two
million people actually attended the Phillies’ World Series parade in

Here’s a sampling of some of the investigative work of Peter Mucha of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Along that four-mile stretch – about 21,000 feet – crowds packed
about 20 to 25 feet wide on each side. Suppose crowds were 30 feet deep
on each side – allowing spillage over the curbs or extra room in more
open spots – making 60 feet total, counting both sides.

That means the lines of onlookers filled about 1.25 million square
feet – nowhere close to the room two million Phils (or Flyers or 76ers)
fans would need.

The densest crowds (outside of Tokyo subway cars) have about 1 person every 2.5 square feet.

One person every 5 square feet is more likely, said McPhail, after reviewing photographs of the parade.

That means the parade-route throngs contained as many as 500,000 people – but perhaps as few as 250,000.

Combined with the stadiums’ 100,000, that’s a rough preliminary range of 350,000 to 600,000 people.

You get the point. Exaggerating the
size of large gatherings is nothing new, whether we’re talking about
political rallies or the Florida Marlins. If Philadelphia wants to
think two million people were there, good for them. It’s worth noting
an estimated 1.5 million people turned out for the Yankees’ parade earlier this month, a figure that seems much more realistic, if not conservative for New York.

  1. GimmeSomeSteel - Nov 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    When I started reading this, I said to myself, “How will this be spun so that NY winds up with a bigger crowd?” Sure enough. This was written with the plain intent of disparaging the Phils and their fans. Heaven forbid you should let the fans feel good about it; you have to (a) knock them for something, and (b) proclaim the inevitable superiority of something New York.

  2. Lee Keeler - Nov 29, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Absolutely agree, talk about a non subject. Nothing transparent about it at all. The Phillies parade was a whole city pouring out its collective love for their first champions in three decades, the author needs to get a life and just enjoy his Yankees championship.

  3. Mark Runsvold - Nov 29, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    I guess being thousands of miles away from either New York or Philly gives me a different perspective here, but … did you two read the same post I did? There’s nothing in there that should lead you to be so affronted. Nothing at all. New York is larger than Philadelphia. Is this indisputable fact a source of controversy on the East Coast?
    D.J. didn’t say Phillies fans suck and don’t support their team. He just quoted from and linked to an article by a reporter at the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER(!!!) disputing the estimates of the crowd size. He was also explicit about the essentially trivial nature of this exercise.

  4. smokehouse - Nov 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    This guy is delusional. Who the hell cares how many were in Philly or New York? Just tell me, who cares? You NY slobs can take your 600 billion dollar payroll and stick it.

  5. hk - Nov 29, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    I’m not sure why I read this article or why I even am bothering to discuss it, but I do have a couple of points of contention with the math used. The first is that the Philadelphia Inquirer guy’s calculation only included people standing on the streets and excluded all of the people watching from the buildings along the route. The second is that the key variable in the calculation is the distance of the parade and it seems to me that the distance from the Canyon of Heroes to City Hall Park is shorter than 5 miles (the disance of the Phillies parade route). Therefore, if the author is comparing the turnouts at the last two parades and is accepting the Philadelphia Inquirer guy’s methodology, it would seem that more people would have been at the 2008 parade than this year’s.

  6. Amanda - Nov 29, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    Did you add in the 100,000 who were at both stadiums. There were also people on roofs, trees, buildings, everywhere. I was there and I couldn’t move.

  7. Jessica - Nov 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    Parades are happy events. Not surprisingly, a sportswriter tries to find “the story” in A PARADE. A PARADE! Jeez, dude. Santa Claus is coming. Perk up.

  8. Veronica - Nov 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM

    Why do NY people have to hate on Philly? I attended the parade with my daughter and let me tell you that he was either looking at the pics with one eye close to cut the crowds in half or maybe he don’t know how to figure out math problems. There was so many people at the parade that they had to close down our public trasit for the safty of everyone. They streets were packed all the way along the parade route and around the sports complex. We had 2 count them 2 parks filled with people waiting to see our WORLD CHAMPIONS. If people in NY can’t come out and support the team they are suppose to love then don’t try and downplay our team or our fans who by the way had the most sell out games not only in ’08 but also in ’09. The Yankess couldn’t give away tickets to the games not even when they were in the Championship games.

  9. GimmeAD - Nov 29, 2009 at 10:45 PM

    NY media is so pathetic. We get it NY, you are soooo great. Why don’t you spend your Thanksgiving with your family you pathetic waste, instead of worrying about who had the bigger parade. PATHETIC.

  10. Rich - Nov 29, 2009 at 10:50 PM

    Dude, just look at the picture with the article. Clearly, clearly more than 30 feet on each side there were in use. Secondly, anyone who’s been in downtown Philly knows that it’s not “cookie cutter” enough to apply a measurement like that for the 5 miles. There were not 200,000 in the stadiums (the Bank holds 45,000 usually), but there were 500,000 on the complex grounds, this i’m sure of. An estimate of 300,000-600,000 would be entirely off, not even worth starting with. The complex is a large area, an area rivaling the Meadowlands in actual size, and with far, far more parking (four stadiums and arenas are on the grounds). I’m not sure for certain that 2 million people were there, and none of us will ever know, but your estimates are absurdly low. Now, with that said, how low could it have been? Well, presuming a half million on the complex grounds, a million is a solid estimate, and it goes about where run of the mill is for over-stating a big event to multiply it by 2. Does this mean I’m disputing New York’s number too? No, i think it was legit. It’s a city of 8 million in an area of 25 million, with a team with one of the largest fan bases in the country.

  11. Mark - Nov 29, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    The two million person turnout was actually an underestimate in the views of many. These numbers that you practically made up through absurd rounding and leaving out humorous amounts of information is down right silly. The more in depth numbers out there seemed to indicate that the Philly parade had around 2.2 million. I will find the article that goes into greater depth than your silly (and practically made up) calculations.

  12. Jay Ballz - Nov 29, 2009 at 11:16 PM

    I was there as part of the stadium crowd. We watched TV coverage the entire time, leading to the sports complex. I’ve never thought the estimates of people attending seemed outrageous.

  13. Bill - Nov 29, 2009 at 11:20 PM

    So this completely disregards the area around the stadium, which was hundreds of people deep. I had seats for inside CBP and it took me 15 minutes (no BS, unlike this article) to get a total of 300 feet from where I was to the entrance of the stadium.

  14. Dave - Nov 29, 2009 at 11:21 PM
    30 feet deep? Yeah… right…

  15. Jim - Nov 29, 2009 at 11:48 PM
    Broad St. after the Phillies won the series. This went on for a good 2 miles. Your estimate might be more fitting for after we won the series, but the parade? At least triple those numbers. Nice try bud.

  16. twins2010 - Nov 29, 2009 at 11:49 PM

    What’s wrong with you Philly fans? No where in DJ’s article does he knock the Phillies, the city ot the fans. Furthermore, he was commenting on an article written by a Philadelphia writer, not a NY writer. Face it – you lost this year. Get over it! To bash DJ, or the Yankees or their fans is unwarranted, and shows why Philly fans have the reputation you do! And really, who cares if how many people went to the parade? As far as the NY payroll goes Smokehouse, have you checked out the Phillies payroll recently? In 2009, Philly had a payroll over $ 113 million, 6th or 7th highest, and going up this year! As a Twins fan, I wish we had a payroll that high. You really all have to get over the NY paranoia!

  17. Lawrence From Plattekill - Nov 30, 2009 at 8:45 AM

    Yeah, let’s all just forget about trying to figure out the truth, and just worry about who’s feelings are being hurt. After all, it’s not like if we ever really need to combat a lie, we won’t be able to just because people are used to being fed lies.

  18. ron - Dec 1, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    i was at both and this year’s yankee parade didn’t draw a quarter of the crowd that paraded down broad st.

  19. sean - Dec 1, 2009 at 7:42 PM

    How does this person have a job? Worst story EVER.

  20. G - Dec 1, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    Wow DJ Short… you are 1. a tool, 2. a clown. I was there for the parade on Broad Street – I walked the entire distance… There were people on roofs, in the houses/business along there. And as it got closer and closer to the stadium – it was a mob scene… people were literally sandwiched together and there was no room to move. The parking lots were overflowed.
    So unless you actually attended which you clearly did not DJ… do yourself a favor next time your bored and go jerk off instead of tryin to be a jerk off.

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