2 million in Times Square for New Year's? Experts say no way

New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, Photo Date: 1/1/17 / Edwin J. Torres / Mayoral Photo Office / MGN
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NEW YORK (AP) (12/29/18)- Officials frequently say that as many as 2 million people will pack New York City's Times Square for New Year's Eve.

But is it possible? Crowd-size experts say no way.

Crowd science professor G. Keith Still says the real Times Square ball drop crowd likely has fewer than 100,000 people.

Nevertheless, city officials and event organizers continue to float mammoth crowd estimates.

The Times Square Alliance, which runs the ball drop, says the estimates come from the New York City Police Department.

New York University professor Charles Seife says the city has an interest in promoting a bigger number.

He says it "helps cement the image of New York City as the center of the universe."

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