There was no influx of traffic on solar eclipse day in Indiana

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Indiana State Police expected thousands of visitors to view the total solar eclipse.
But the state didn’t see nearly the number of tourists expected.
The April 8 solar eclipse was predicted to be big day for Indiana tourism, and while in many ways it still was, the crowds were not what local officials predicted.
Here’s what happened during the 2024 total solar eclipse.
Read more from the Herald-Times:Eclipse day was sunny in Indiana.
Nashville also saw lower numbers than predicted Between 50,000 and 100,000 eclipse viewers were expected in Nashville and Brown County, an estimated 20,000 showed up.
Why was solar eclipse viewing attendance lower than expected?
Visit Indy also broke their record for the most website traffic in a single day on the day of the eclipse, meaning tourists and locals were looking for things to do.


Witnessing the total solar eclipse, thousands of people are anticipated by the Indiana State Police. An emergency order was even signed by Governor Eric Holcomb. However, the state didn’t see nearly as many visitors as anticipated.

Though in many respects it still was, the April 8 solar eclipse was not as popular as local officials had anticipated.

Here are the events of the total solar eclipse of 2024.

See the Herald-Times for additional information: Indiana had a sunny eclipse day. Where had the crowds disappeared to?

Bloomington’s figures fell short of projections.

The Herlad-Times stated that early estimates put the number of spectators in Bloomington at tens of thousands, as opposed to the 300,000 that several officials had predicted.

Overestimates prevented some Bloomington residents from leaving their homes and attending the local events, which included those at Memorial Stadium and Switchyard Park, even though the city was able to avoid gridlock caused by the smaller-than-expected crowds.

Twelve-hour shifts were the norm for all ranks of officers at the Bloomington Police Department. However, as the day went on and the expected crowds did not show up, they were shortened to ten hours.

Nashville experienced fewer visitors than anticipated as well.

Nashville and Brown County were expected to host between 50,000 and 100,000 eclipse viewers; only 20,000 are thought to have arrived.

The most tourists, though still less than anticipated, were in Indianapolis.

The number of people expected for the eclipse is estimated to be between 200,000 and 250,000, according to information provided by Indiana State Police to IndyStar in March.

Visit Indy’s senior communications manager, Clare Clark, verified that 125,000 people came to Indianapolis during the eclipse, with attendees hailing from 35 different countries and all 50 states.

Why was the number of people who watched the solar eclipse lower than anticipated?

At its widest point, the eclipse path this year was between 108 and 122 miles wide, or roughly 72% wider, than the eclipse path in 2017, according to NASA. Approximately 31.6 million people were in the path of totality this year, as opposed to 12 million in 2017.

According to NASA, the eclipse this year covered “more cities and densely populated areas” than it did in 2017.

This decreased the possibility of traffic in any given area because people had more options for where to go.

Though not one cloud obscured the view of the solar event in Indianapolis or Bloomington, several Indiana cities had warned of the possibility of cloud cover during the eclipse, which may have contributed to the decline in tourism in the state.

In addition to helping to lessen regular traffic in cities, schools were closed for the day.

Even with fewer visitors than anticipated, local events and tourism saw success.

Some cities in the state experienced tremendous success even though they received fewer visitors than anticipated.

Indianapolis was the most popular destination within the eclipse’s path, according to Airbnb, and Visit Indy reported that hotel rooms were practically sold out on Sunday night before the eclipse.

On the day of the eclipse, Visit Indianapolis also shattered their record for the highest amount of website traffic in a single day, indicating that both visitors and residents were searching for things to do.

Hotels and short-term rentals, according to Visit Bloomington executive director Mike McAfee, are “near capacity,” though he won’t have complete statistics until later this month.

According to IU spokesman Mark Bode, the school welcomed “tens of thousands of visitors and students across at least seven separate events,” with Memorial Stadium hosting “nearly 10,000” of them.

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