Did Donald Trump Rally Attract 60,000 People? What We Know

Donald Trump claimed during a rally in Las Vegas on Sunday that he had managed to pull a crowd of 60,000 people to an event he held in Ohio earlier this year, a claim that does not appear to be supported by available evidence.

Trump has repeatedly been scrutinized for inflating the number of supporters who have come out to support him. During the rally in Las Vegas, he claimed that 20,000 people had attended when it’s thought the maximum capacity for the area where the rally was hosted was 3,000.

At that same event, while complaining about the flimsiness of teleprompter technology, Trump recalled an event on March 16, 2024, in Dayton, Ohio—an event widely debated after he warned of a “bloodbath” in the U.S. should he lose the 2024 presidential election.

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Dayton International Airport on March 16, 2024 in Vandalia, Ohio. During a speech in Las Vegas, Trump claimed this Ohio rally attracted 60,000 attendees.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Speaking about supporting Bernie Moreno, who is now the Republican Senate primary candidate in Ohio, Trump said: “And before I started my speech as I was walking off, as I’m coming down the runway, walking off the runway onto the stage, the teleprompters got blown to pieces.

“We had 60,000 people and I was standing up there all by myself.”

However, like some of Trump’s previous claims about crowd sizes, this most recent comment appears to buckle under scrutiny.

Newsweek contacted representatives of Donald Trump for comment.

How many people were at the event?

The event was held at Wright Bros Aero Inc., an aviation and logistics company located at Dayton International Airport.

Media footage, social media posts and photography from the day show the crowds and stage were organized between several warehouse buildings and an events venue for the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show.

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Dayton International Airport on March 16, 2024 in Vandalia, Ohio.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Newsweek used the crowd-counting tool MapChecking to estimate how many people could fit into this space, around 18,000 to 20,000 square meters. These are rough estimates of the actual square footage of the area around the stage.

Assuming that there were two people per square meter in the crowd (based on comparing the density of the crowd modeling estimates), the estimated number that could fit into that space, unobstructed, would reach somewhere between 36,000 to 39,000 people.

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Donald Trump greeting supporters at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, on March 16, 2024.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

However, the space was obstructed. As well as Trump’s stage, a runway leading to his plane, infrastructure, media, engineering stations and crowd exits all minimized the total space available. It stands to reason, therefore, that the number of people in the fenced area around the stage is unlikely to have accommodated even 39,000 people, let alone 60,000.

What is unclear is how many other people there may have been outside the formally staged area, as well as how many were refused entrance because of maximum capacity. Social media posts showed long lines snaking outside.

Newsweek put its estimates to Professor Keith Still, a published expert in crowd risk analysis, who said that based on footage from the event, taking into account the mixture of seated and standing areas around the stage, 38,000 people “given we can see empty seats/spaces is probably on the high end.”

“Your estimate of the entry points/exit routes etc… would reduce this further,” Still added.

“Without much more detail, it looks around 35,000 from the site area.”

Newsweek contacted the City of Dayton, Ohio, and Wright Bros Aero Inc. for comment.

The events in Ohio and Las Vegas are not the only ones where crowd numbers are thought to have been overestimated. In July 2023, Conservative commentators quoted claims that a rally held in Pickens, South Carolina, attracted 50,000 people.

However, using footage from the day and mapping tools, Newsweek found that the area around Trump’s podium and the adjoining areas was more likely to have somewhere between 20,000 to 30,000 people.