Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): New estimates have indicated that the early projection of 4 to 5 million people attending the inauguration of US president-elect Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, may be wrong, and the crowd will be about half that size.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the earlier estimates, provided by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), were based on speculation surrounding the historic nature of the swearing-in of Obama as the nation's first African American president.
After weeks of checking with charter bus companies, airlines and other sources, a reassessment is in place.
"It's more of an art than a science," City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said. "The fact is, earlier it was speculation. Now, we're beginning to flesh it out and what the physical capacities of the system are," he told Washington Post.
Now, the Secret Service has dismissed the high-end estimates of 4 million to 5 million people.
But, there is universal agreement among security officials and planners that massive numbers of people will flock to the swearing-in of Obama, who had drawn huge campaign crowds.
D.C. officials have now scaled back their estimates to about 2 million people, which far outnumber the 400,000 who attended the 2005 inauguration of President Bush. (ANI)