Inauguration Capacity Numbers
The platform for the swearing-in ceremony is currently being built and it traditionally holds more than 1,600 people including the President and Vice President, members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, and the outgoing President and Vice President. The bleachers that sit above the platform holds an additional 1,000 people.
Total capacity for the entire inauguration has never been an exact science, but here are the estimates from every inauguration going back to when the event was moved to the west side of the Capitol.
Donald Trump, 2017: 300,000 – 600,000
Barack Obama, 2013: 1 million
Barack Obama, 2009: 1.8 million (generally considered a record for people on the National Mall)
George W. Bush, 2005: 400,000
George W. Bush, 2001: 300,000
Bill Clinton, 1997: 250,000
Bill Clinton, 1993: 800,000
George H.W. Bush, 1989: 300,000
Ronald Reagan, 1985: 140,000 tickets sold, but record cold moved the swearing-in ceremony indoors
Ronald Reagan, 1981: 10,000
Data Source: Politico
Reasons to Attend the 2021 Presidential Inauguration
If you always wanted to cross the Presidential Inauguration off your buck list, this could be the best year to attend. With the COVID-19 pandemic happening, this year could be the cheapest one to attend.
While final details have not been announced, the speculation is this year will have to have social distancing and fewer people will be able to attend. According to STR Inc., hotel room demand was down 83% from the same time last year, which can lead to cheaper rooms and more options.
Airlines should have a similar experience with fewer people traveling. If the crowds are limited and spaced out, this will lead to having more space for viewing and fewer lines to get through security. Also traveling around the city on inauguration day is always tough, so this can lead to an easier commute.
DC Begins Preparation for the Inauguration
The city of Washington has started preparing for the inauguration before the election has even happened. Construction of the stage where the swearing-in ceremony will take place in front of the Capitol began recently as well as getting the streets ready with stands for the parade. While officials are getting ready for a normal event, they know this year will be different from the past: