1 Million Revelers In Times Square?

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Ever wonder how the owners of the multitude of screens in Times Square ever figure out the size of the crowds?

We found this article picked this up from Weekend Musings by Canaccord Genuity software analyst Richard Davis rather amusing and are passing it along in case you want to dispute his thoughts.

Mind you, with my math skills, we are not about to argue with his facts – Canaccord Genuity is an institutional investment banking and brokerage firm, Ed

“Perhaps instead of watching reality shows, Americans could learn arithmetic. My wife and I watched the New Year’s Eve festivities on TV over the weekend. Several times, from respectable news sources, we heard the comment that ’1 million revelers will be in Times Square to watch the ball come down and usher in 2011’.

“Whenever I hear a big claim, I become skeptical; so I did some math. Times Square is bounded by 42nd Street in the south, 47th to the north and 6th and 8th on the East/West axis. Let’s first assume that this area is a completely flat plain with no buildings. On that basis, the land area of Times Square is about 1.35 million square feet. Even if you assume that everyone at Times Square is relatively fit, the minimum area that a person fills while standing up is 2 sq. ft. (2’ width x 1’ depth).

“On that basis, assuming there were no buildings in the Times Square area, you could fit 675,000 people pressed against one another. Of course, there are multi-story buildings in Times Square, but even if these buildings had walls of zero thickness and no empty spaces for elevators, HVAC, etc., we still need to stack another 325,000 people into the buildings to get to the oft-repeated 1 million figure.

“The reality is that this number of people in Times Square is impossible and it’s a testament to our pitiful applied mathematical skills that nobody questioned the ‘million in Times Square’ assertion – just another reason that India and China are going to kick our…”

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