So, it seems like that whole “Stanley Cup” thing is kind of a big deal to the people of Chicago. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the victory parade garnered more than two million screaming revelers.
With a 49-year Stanley Cup drought finally over, the City of Chicago estimated over 2 million ecstatic Blackhawks fans basked in the glory of the hockey championship today, creating a sea of humanity for a championship parade and rally that filled Michigan Avenue for blocks.
Of course, by the month of June, two million people congested in such a (relatively) small amount of space can create a lot of body heat (let’s not even think about the horrific smell). The Sun-Times captures the scene with some numbers and scene-setting.
The buses reached the Michigan and Wacker rally site around 11:30 a.m. City officials had said an estimated 350,000 people were expected to attend. Mid-rally, the city changed that number to “over 2 million.”
Fire Dept. spokesman Larry Langford said 125 people were treated for heat problems amid the 80-degree and humid day, and 50 were hospitalized. None of the injuries was said to be serious.
Is this the biggest Cup parade ever? I can’t say for sure, but it certainly beats those New Jersey Devils parking lot celebrations.
More recent Cup parades generated some big numbers, too. The Detroit Red Wings drew 1.4 million fans for their 11th Cup party in 08 while the Pittsburgh Penguins brought in about 375,000 people (impressive for a smaller market) and apparently outdrew the immortal Pittsburgh Steelers’ parade in 09.