In the words of Bernie Sanders’ supporters, his rally tonight in Chicago was “yuuuuge.” The Navy Pier venue was packed at standing room only as Sanders talked about his platform, including economic and criminal justice reform and healing the rifts that have divided the country. Just how many people attended Bernie Sanders’ rally in Chicago’s Navy Pier tonight? The venue was packed, and the Chicago Tribune said “more than 12,000” were there. Photos from the rally tell a vivid story. Read on to see photos and learn more about his rally today.
Sanders’ event was held in Festival Hall of the Navy Pier. It’s tough to find an exact capacity for the Festival Hall venue, since it’s sometimes split in two or organized for booths. PartySlate describes the Festival Hall this way: “Navy Pier’s main exhibition space Festival Hall encompasses over 170,000 square feet that can be used as one large room or divided into two separate halls: Hall A which spans 113,000 square feet and can accommodate six hundred 10’ x 10’ booths; and Hall B at 57,000 square feet with space for three hundred 10’ x 10’ booths.” That’s a pretty significant size, and Sanders’ rally today packed it out.
A story from 2014 about Skillrex being at the Festival Hall said the capacity was 12,000. Sanders’ event certainly feels like the numbers were even higher and it’s not clear if the venue was set up the same way that a concert would be. The Chicago Tribune did note that “more than 12,000” packed the Navy Pier arena. Kyle Mazza said that the campaign estimated the attendance at 12,500. We will update that story when the number is confirmed.
Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, shared this photo of the packed-out venue:
And Levi Sanders, Bernie’s son, shared this photo:
There was a diverse crowd tonight.
The event started with rousing Gospel music.
The crowds looked large from the beginning.
The venue at the Navy Pier filled quickly.
Even seven hours before the event started, people were waiting all the way into the parking lot.
The crowd was ready even before the doors opened.
Even Birdie Sanders visited.
And the “Not Me, Us” chant gained a new life when Sanders first started to speak. People chanted “Bernie! Bernie!” and he corrected them. Then they chanted, “Not Me! Us!” and he got a huge smile on his face.
The way the crowd was packed, this felt like an event on par with Sanders’ past events in Chicago when he campaigned in 2016. If you’d like to watch his speech again, here it is.
The energy and excitement is definitely back, just as strong as it was then. On Reddit, anomamom wrote: “Damn, it’s like he’s been gathering energy since 2016 for this moment – but wait he literally NEVER STOPPED fighting and campaigning that whole time!!! He’s … ON FIRE tonight.”
This is a developing story.
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