Palin rally drew anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000

Crowd size a matter of guesswork

How many people attended Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s Monday night speech at Suplizio Field?

Anywhere from around 10,000 up to more than 20,000, according to reports in the media and from local residents to city officials.

According to local residents and city officials, that apparently depended on where you stood.

Gary Blackman, first vice chairman of the Mesa County Republican Party, said he has heard that the crowd could have been anywhere from 16,000 people to 22,000 people.

“I wonder if that isn’t closer,” he said of those estimates.

Blackman said he was disappointed to see the local news report that the figure was closer to 10,000.

The Daily Sentinel, based on the mass of the crowd in the infield and outfield, along with the empty outfield bleachers and the sections of the bleachers obstructed by a giant U.S. flag, estimated the crowd size at “more than 10,000.”

Other media, including Grand Junction’s NBC affiliate and The Denver Post, estimated the crowd at around 10,000 people.

Grand Junction city officials put attendance at the Sarah Palin rally Monday night in Suplizio Field at as many as 17,000.

Eddie Mort, who oversaw planning for the event by the Republican vice-presidential candidate, said the Suplizio Field stands hold about 10,000 people, but the stands “weren’t packed by any means.”

There might have been as many as 1,500 empty seats, he said.

About 11,000 people went through the metal detectors, he said.

Estimates of the number of people on the infield and outfield ranged from 5,000 to 7,000 people, he said, leading officials to their upper-end estimate.


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