Could Inauguration Crowd Reach 4 Million? | NBC New York

Could Inauguration Crowd Reach 4 Million?

Crowds expected to gather on Mall

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    WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: Construction is underway in front of the U.S. Capitol for the 2009 presidential inauguration site on Nov. 5, 2008 in Washington, DC.

    Remember when the estimate for the Inauguration Day crowd was at a cool million?

    That number has gone up -- dramatically.

    Officials for both the federal government and the District now are preparing for crowds of up to 4 million for President-elect Barack Obama's Jan. 20 inauguration, according to the Washington Post.

    No solid plans, including road closures, have been released as of yet.  District officials are meeting with the Secret Service and other agencies to determine the best way to handle such a large crowd.  Most of the crowd is expected to gather on the National Mall to watch the events on big-screen TVs.

    "The Mall actually may be the best seat in the house. ... It'll kind of be like the world's biggest stage and auditorium on January 20th," Mayor Adrian Fenty told the paper.

    Hotels 150 Miles From D.C. Booked

    People traveling to the inauguration are booking hotel rooms 150 miles from Washington.

    The Hampton Inn in Frostburg, Md., said it's sold out, partly due to inauguration visitors who have booked more than 20 of the 72 rooms.

    At the Best Western motel in LaVale, all 60 rooms have been reserved for Jan. 19, the night before the event, by two groups coming by bus from Indianapolis.

    Guest service agent Stephanie DuVall said the visitors plan to spend that night in LaVale, drive to the nation's capital the next morning and go home the same night.