For the first time since 2015, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally traffic count has a shot at topping the half-million mark. Numbers are trending upward through the first three days of the 78th edition of the event.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation tabulated the numbers from nine different reporting stations around the city of Sturgis and determined that overall traffic is up nearly 3 percent this year compared to 2017. Nonetheless, the event covers a grand total of ten days which means that the trends can certainly change.

Saturday August 4th was the biggest percentage gain so far with 60,119 entering the city which beat last year’s number by 10.8 percent. Friday’s increase was just under 2 percent (49,424) while Day 3 (Sunday) year over year was down 4.2 percent with 52,153. So you don’t have to do the math, the three-day total for 2018 is 161,969 while 2017’s number is 157,166. If the 2.9 percent traffic increase were to be maintained over the course of the 10-day festival, the final number would be just over 483,000. Which means to reach 500,000 people entering Sturgis, 7 percent more vehicles than last year are needed.

The 75th edition of the Rally still stands above all others when it took place back in 2015. That mammoth event drew almost 750,000 vehicles into Sturgis.

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