New York City Parks is unable to corroborate the Warren campaign’s claim of 20,000 people attending the presidential candidate’s Monday rally in Washington Square Park, with a spokeswoman telling Breitbart News that NYC Parks permitted Warren’s event for an audience of 8,000 – 10,000.
The Warren campaign is touting Monday’s rally in Washington Square Park as the candidate’s biggest rally to date, with over 20,000 people in attendance. The campaign told the Hill that it stopped counting individuals pouring in once Warren started speaking.
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) September 17, 2019
While it is not as easy to get an accurate crowd estimate for an outside event, Breitbart News reached out to NYC Parks to confirm the Warren campaign’s estimate.
NYC Parks’ Assistant Commissioner for Communications, Crystal Howard, told Breitbart News that NYC Parks permitted Warren’s rally for an audience of half that size– 8,000 to 10,000. The department believes the park’s capacity is 10,000, she added.
The assistant commissioner told Breitbart News that they “can’t corroborate the campaign’s count.”
This is hardly the first time the Warren campaign has inflated numbers to tout crowd size. The Warren campaign claimed it had 12,000 people attend a town hall meeting at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in August. However, the crowd was at half of that, with 4,000 to 6,000 in attendance.
As Breitbart News reported:
Similarly, the Warren campaign has claimed that 12,000 people attended the Macalester event. Breitbart News has learned that the campaign arrived at that figure by counting people who sent a text message to register for the event.
However, while local news agreed that “thousands” attended the Macalester event, the 12,000 figure seemed high.
The college’s college security staff said they could not provide a crowd estimate. So Breitbart News contacted the office in charge of facilities rental at Macalester. The Warren campaign had initially rented the Leonard Center, which holds 4,000 people. That was deemed to be too small for the event, given expected attendance. So it was moved outside, to Shaw Field — the largest field on campus, with a capacity of 3,000, plus “spillover” beyond.
It seems fair to grant the Warren campaign an attendance of at least 4,000 — i.e. more than the Leonard Center. But given the size of Shaw Field, it is difficult to believe 12,000 people attended. A generous estimate would be 6,000.
Warren’s campaign also boasted of a massive turnout at her Seattle Center event last month, claiming 15,000 in attendance. Breitbart News reached out to Seattle authorities to corroborate the estimate. Deborah Daoust, Seattle Center’s director of communications, told Breitbart News of the City of Seattle’s policy of “going with the event producer’s attendance estimates.” While the Warren campaign has been known to rely on RSVPs to concoct attendance estimates, Daoust said that 15,000 seemed “pretty close to the mark.”