SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The one-day vehicle count at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fell below the five-year average Thursday for the second day in a row.
The 9,000 count drop from Wednesday to Thursday is the largest in several years.
The city of Sturgis uses vehicle counts, tons of garbage hauled and analysis of photos to determine the estimated crowd each year at the rally.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation counted 45,356 entering vehicles on Thursday. That’s down 11.7% from the five-year average.
Still, because of better performances on the first five days, the seven-day total is 400,341 vehicles, about 9,000 more than the five-year average total for seven days.
But, the vehicle counts indicate the rally attendance may not be as big as the estimated crowd of 555,000 in 2021, according to the city of Sturgis.
The DOT counted 52,235 entering vehicles on the seventh day of the rally in 2021.
The vehicle count tends to drop by thousands after the fifth day of the rally. The 75th Anniversary rally in 2015, which drew more than 700,000 bikers, was an exception.
The fifth-day count was 84,836 and the seventh-day count was 84,272 in 2015.