Today: Businessman Uses Math to Unravel Bogus Kauffman Center Crowd Count

It’s time now for KC’s top crowd counter Gary Evert to weigh in on the Kauffman Center‘s haltingly high attendence figure…

That after people no less illustrious than one of the Star‘s most respected (now laid off) entertainment writers and the tech who helped produce the event scoffed at the notion of 55,000 bouncing in and out of the PAC’s rainy Sunday afternoon public opening.

To be fair, anonymous commenters have supported the PAC guesstimate, suggesting anecdotally that a count might have been made. However that flies in the face of the reported fact that the "estimate of 55,000 was based on the assumption that the building could only accommodate 5,000 at a time. If that number ‘turned over’ 10 times, then total attendance would be 50,000."

In other words, by the PAC’s own accounting of things, it was a guesstimate not an actual count.

Worse yet, the guesstimate was provided to the newspaper in "midafternoon" for an event that only started at 11 a.m. and ended around 6 p.m. And later Kauffman honcho Jane Chu upped her guess by another 5,000.

So the PAC was already claiming 50,000 attendees not much more than halfway into the event. Refuting a suggestion the people might have been counted as they entered The Little K.

For 55,000 to have come, the PAC would have had to turn its capacity 16 times in seven hours (nearly twice an hour)

Evert didn’t make it to the event, but applied logic and his well-documented experience at counting the Plaza Lights crowds and bulbs.

"My thought would be that it was probably overstated," he says of the PAC’s magic number.

The odds of it being correct: "Astronomically small," Evert says. "But I mean, it made a nice number."

Rather than merely dismissing Chu’s estimate, Evert points to the stats.

"That’s nearly 8,000 people an hour," he says. "And given that there was entertainment, etc. if the average length of the stay was 20 minutes – and I think that’s low – you would have to turn that over at a rate of 2,600 people every 20 minutes. So they had to turn their entire capacity over every 40 minutes and that would be like 5th Avenue on New Year’s Eve."

The logistics of such a feat…

"Just the sheer number of people would slow down the efficiency with which they could turn the crowd," Evert explains. "The logistics of handling a crowd of that size in such a complex space seems like a statistical impossibility."

As for why the PAC would embrace such an optimistic figure in the first place, "In my experience no crowd has ever been underestimated," Evert quips.

Photographs courtesy of Reggie Banks, Sr. and Blackberry Castle Photography

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18 Responses to Today: Businessman Uses Math to Unravel Bogus Kauffman Center Crowd Count

  1. smartman says:

    Still not close to the record for overstating a metro crowd. That distinction still belongs to Tracy Leiweke who said that the second SPIRIT FESTIVAL, which was a Three Day event drew a total of ONE MILLION PEOPLE. Just like chasing chicks. If you’re lookin’ for a sure thing, GO BIG!

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Next on Kansas City Confidential
    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    Later Craig Glazer tells why she’s never too young to be too old for me.

  3. Hearne says:

    First of all, it’s KC Confidential…
    Secondly, I don’t know whether to high five you or dance on the head of your pin.

    My bad.

  4. xxMillerTimexx says:

    That sounded Kinky

    Hearne 02:31:18 AM – Wed. Sep 28. 2011

    Secondly, I don’t know whether to high five you or dance on the head of your pin.

    My bad.”

  5. harley says:

    1. how did you get that the building could accomodate 5,000 people at a time. then you say the building would have to turn
    its capacity 16 times to reach 55,000 people. Those statements don’t jive. Where is the facts you got and how did you get the
    5000 number and then reduce it to 3400 in the same story. You’re a known liar. You’re known to play with facts. Now tell us
    how and where you got that capacity number.
    2. How does your expert take into account the number of people outside the building? Did he use his expert counting tools to
    estimate the crowd waiting to go into the building.
    3. i was in the building. In your numbers are you taking the total number of seats into account.
    Explain how you did this or have the expert counter. What about the space inside the building. If i remember correct mr.
    people counter took the area of the plaza that contained people…figured out how many people could be in that area…then
    came up with a number. To get an accurate count of people inside the buidling did he measure the space in the building that
    could actuallly hold people. Did he figure how many people could be in the buidling at one time based on the square footage.
    Or is this another lie!. Does mr. people counter have a floor plan of the buidling to estimate the footage that could hold people
    or was this a lie again.
    4. Niether you nor mr. people counter were at the event. did you rely on second hand accounts? did you rely on the photos?
    did you rely on actual numbers of people who walked blocks to get to the event.
    5. Tell us how and with what amount of accuracy this mr people counter came up with these numbers. Your comments don’t
    connect with the info mr. people counter had. You said they’d have to capactiy over every 60 minutes…people counter said
    80 minutes. And when you’re counting thousands of people thats huge.
    I was there. As were tens of thousands of people. You weren’t …mr people counter weren’t. And what type of businessman
    is mr people counter.
    Answer these or shut the f up. Without knowing the footage of the interior of the space you can’t make any estimage on how many
    people were in there. and if you can…please explain how you can determine the numberof people (not seats) in the building
    that can be there at one time. Mr. people couunter is estimating his numbers…he can’t have used any other numbers unlesshe
    had exact space in the center that could hold people. I’d say you and m.r people counter are liars and fakes.
    If not…prove me wrong. Put up or shut up!

  6. harley says:

    is mr. people counter the same guy who sells
    corn dogs/funnel cakes/lemonade/cotton candy crap out of a truck? Checked the website.
    Give us this guys qualifications. Is it the same guy.
    explain more to us hearne.

  7. chuck says:

    Harley’s (JoJo) raison d’ etre
    In depth (?) and pejorative diatribes on ANYTHING (of course he was there, and in Vegas too, and at Jardines, and HE’S EVERYWHERE with all of his sources and knowledge.), that kcconfidial has posted, so his “Fans” can hear the “truth”. Its out there somewhere, and Harley (JoJo) is our very own Fox Mulder, sans the hair, hot co worker and an actual paycheck from an employer.

    Yep, what this blog needs, is Harley’s take on an abtruse math problem, that will take reasonable extrapolation, finally result in a nebulous and disputed outcome, which scholars in the Bodleian Library, couldn’t solve with a Flux Capcitor.

    The only thing more annoying, would be an explanation, viva voce, from the great man himself. Picture that, and keep your lunch down.

    kcconfidential, has its very own excrescence, you know, like Chaz Bono’s newly installed joy prong, Harley (JoJo).

    KoKo is JoJo.

    KoKo, the talking gorilla, will have a more logical take on the crowd at the Kauffman Center, than the bovine, blathering, bullshit that sems to bloviate outta Harley’s (JoJo) KoKo’s mouth.

    Throw Harley/JoJo/KoKo a fuckin bananna and shut him up.

  8. Orphan of the Road says:

    KC Confidential
    Thanks Craig for introducing us to the father of your as-yet-unborn-future babe.

    In federal court today, Chuck was served with papers from KoKo claiming he was defamed by being mentioned in the same sentence with harley. When asked for a comment, KoKo flung a hand full of shit at a man who seemed to be trying to high-five some angels dancing on the head of a pin.

    Tune in tomorrow when we look at whether harley is running Michelle Bachman’s campaign and if he spent his youth at Penn State or the state pen.

  9. kcfred says:

    Why in the hell..
    …are we STILL talking about this? Whether 20,000 50,000 or a million what difference does it make. This is now the 96th story on the effing estimated crowd! I’m reminded of Hawkeye Pierce on M.A.S.H. when he was fed the same slop over and over, he started the whole camp chanting “we want something else..!”

  10. Because... says:

    ….that’s what they to
    @kcfred. There were just no more stories left to write about that kid that died in Westport so there was a new dead horse that needed beating. I was at the event and I would have guessed 50,000 people but if someone told me it was just 20,000 that’s fine too. It was packed all day, the Crossroads was the place to be in KC and this is going to be an awesome addition to the already stellar offerings that Kansas City has for the arts.

  11. Wondering says:

    DFude ,why do you overly concerrn, post multiple article about this drivel? IT IS A FREE EVENT!!!! NO ONE GOT SCAMMED….. WTF!!!

    It is not like when Pink Floyd played in Chicago on the Animals (in the flesh) tour..
    “”””in Chicago, the promoters claimed to have sold out the 67,000 capacity of the Soldier Field stadium, but Waters and O’Rourke were suspicious. They hired a helicopter, photographer and attorney, and discovered that the actual attendance was 95,000; a shortfall to the band of $640,000.[33] “”

    IN that case…people were stealing money… in the case of the Plaza lights or this free event…WHO FKN CARES!!!??!!! AND WHY?? WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE WHNE IT IS FREE?…WHY POST MULTIPLE ARTICLES??? IT IS FREE!!!!!!!

    Go research something of meaning, change the world…

    How about how voting machines cna be hacked with a $25.00 part?

    or how slavery still exists in America???
    or why we built a space station whne we were going to cancale the shuttles and now cant get to it?
    or how .. what … where….. how about something that matters?

    I have no dog in this hunt… I dont care about the plaza lighting number or the numbers for this event, I just hate to see you waste you taslent on drivel that does not mater…and wonder why….esp when there are so many REAL issues in the world

  12. mark says:

    Biggest racist in the room.

  13. Hearne Christopher says:

    Keep and up and write shorter if you want a response.

    Obviously, the Star reported that Chu calculated somehow that it would hold 5,000. Since it only seats 3,400 but they were moving people thru the entire complex. the means they think another 1,600 could fit overall.

    Your questions are inconsequential. The man who produced the event was there and said 20 tops. Another person who went told me when she got there they were maxed and only letting in 15 people at a time (as 15 would leave).

    You’re a little green at this and that’s to be understood. That makes you normal in this discussion, and that translates to out of it.

  14. Hearne Christopher says:

    He runs a software company

  15. Hearne Christopher says:

    Try the second

  16. Hearne says:

    I’ve taken down a few comments from Harley and…
    The fake ones of Chuck and Craig. We like it wide open here but there are limits.

  17. Harry Callahan says:

    “A commenter’s got to know his limitations”

  18. Lucy says:

    You’re right Wondering, this isn’t earthshattering news,
    but it does call out the statistical improbability of attendance estimates for a major event in Kansas City. People would have had to pour in and out of the Kauffman like a fire hose into a sieve to reach these estimates.

    And last time I checked, this was, not

Comments are closed.