Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Whopper Watch



“Given the multiple waves of people, attendance is estimated in the tens of thousands. At this point, it is not possible to provide a more specific overall number.”

City release on attendance at Red Bull Crashed Ice (boldface is the city’s)


The city complains about conflicting and inaccurate reports about attendance at Red Bull Crashed Ice then says the attendance is in the tens of thousands.

Well no wonder attendance is being estimated in unusual ways. The city itself can only say that people watched the event in the tens of thousands. How is this accurate and media reports are not? Why not say attendance was less than 36 million? It’s about the same thing.

This looks like a city very concerned about the success of Ottawa 2017. So far the start has not been great.

Offering $150 free gas in Montreal to go to Ottawa 2017 while city hall was embroiled in an environmental discussion was kind of a questionable offering.

As one political figure texted your agent, why don’t they offer $150 of free cigarettes? God love ’em.

Below is the release from the city. It’s just bizarre. The city complains about inaccurate media reports about attendance but can only offer figures in the tens of thousands. If anyone should complain, it’s the media. The city can’t provide accurate figures.

Strange the Ottawa Senators, Ottawa Redblacks and Ottawa Champions release figures down to the last ticket.

The city? “Tens of thousands.”

Nice work. You can’t get this kind of comedy at any price.


Due to conflicting and inaccurate reports on attendance numbers for this past weekend’s Red Bull Crashed Ice, we would like to provide the following information on site capacity for the event.

Approved site capacities based on the emergency plans of the City of Ottawa:

Locks area (“bowl”) – 20,000 (at capacity Friday and Saturday)
Wellington – 12,100 (at capacity Saturday)
Major’s Hill – 10,000 (sparse Friday, at capacity Saturday)
York Street – 5,600 (sparse Friday, at capacity Saturday)

Capacity was reached in the bowl on Friday night, resulting in the additional road closure of Wellington St.

Capacity was reached on all sites on Saturday night, resulting in the additional road closure of Mackenzie Ave. and Elgin St., as well as the addition of traffic management staff on Sussex Dr. to assist with pedestrian flow.

RCMP geospatial measuring pegs the crowd at 28,000 in one snapshot from Saturday evening (8pm) for the bowl and Wellington area. That does not? account for the very large flow-through crowd due to the cold, which would put overall attendance much higher, as attendance turned over approximately 2 times, a significant increase over the 28,000 number that was shared.

Given the multiple waves of people, attendance is estimated in the tens of thousands. At this point, it is not possible to provide a more specific overall number.

An on-site intercept survey was conducted in order to measure the ratio of visitors vs. residents. In the coming days, to deliver on obligations to funding partners, a telephone survey will be conducted in the national capital region. This statistical data will be analyzed and, following that, an accurate measurement of the attendance will be released.

Ottawa 2017 and our partners at Red Bull Crashed Ice are grateful to the tens of thousands of participants who braved the cold temperatures to experience this Ottawa first. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to the over 150 volunteers who contributed their time and talent to the event. Thanks to everyone, it was a huge success, with no major incidents, that featured our city in a high-level way to viewing audiences across Canada and around the world.

– 30 –


And you wonder why the city overspends on light rail by $3.2 billion and can’t get the line to Kanata or Barrhaven for that incredible amount of money?

Look at the release above and now you know.

It’s laughable.

This faux pas has been added to the continuing and growing list of city screw-ups … a regular feature in The Bulldog.

To see the list, click here.



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3 thoughts on “Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Whopper Watch

  1. Welcome back:

    The method of estimating attendance at Crashed Ice appears to have been done by the same estimators who did the LRT ridership figures.

  2. “the Ottawa Senators, Ottawa Redblacks and Ottawa Champions release figures down to the last ticket.” That’s because they are measuring people entering a closed environment through a gated entrance and people aren’t normally coming and going from the facility throughout a game. The operative word there is “ticket”, a control mechanism that was absent from the Crashed Ice event.
    I do wonder about their plan to establish some part of their accounting for attendance through phone calls after the event.


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