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Times Square Alliance and New York Police Department shared their plans for New Year’s Eve 2022 celebrations this morning — and they are expecting as many as 2 million spectators at the event. Following a year without crowds, Times Square is gearing up to welcome back revelers this New Year’s Eve — but you’ll need to be fully vaccinated if you want to be there to witness the ball drop.

Outlining the challenge of turning an open business center into a highly secure performance arena for the evening, James Kehoe, Deputy Chief NYPD Executive Officer Special Events for Patrol Borough Manhattan South said: “Considering where the weather has been, we can expect a very large crowd for this year’s event.”

If you are planning to attend, there will be restrictions in place for most of New Year’s Eve from W37th to W59th Street between 5th and 9th Avenue, including Rockefeller Center. There will be a total of 58 spectator pens stretching from W38th Street up to W57th Street along Broadway and 7th Avenue. The access points will be on 6th Avenue (if you want to get to the east side of Times Square) and 8th Avenue (if you want to get to the west side of the crossroads of the world). You will not be allowed to cross from east to west or head north to south — so be careful about your choice of where to enter. On 6th and 8th Avenues, the access will be at W38th, W48th, W52nd and W56th Streets. The “doors open” at 3pm for revelers.

Set up begins at 00:30am on the day with pens being put in place. Crosstown traffic will be closed around the main square from 4am — and the rest of the area will not be accessible for cars and trucks from 11am.

Showtime starts at 6pm and will end after the balldrop at 00:15am on New Year’s Day 2022.

This year, a special alert service for New Year’s Eve information has been set up in English and Spanish. Text NEWYEARSEVE or NOCHEVIEJA to 696692.

In amongst the detailed advice, Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris had a few practical tips (he’s been involved in the operations of NYE for 13 years, so he should know!):

On mask-wearing (you don’t need to — but…): “The Governor’s mandate is for indoors. I would tell people who are coming to Times Square — you’re going to be 6 inches from someone for 12 hours. Vaccination status or not, it is going to be cold, I would have a mask ready to wear, I would wear a mask, but that’s up to you. Be prepared to wear them if the mandate changes.”

Bringing a water bottle to the NYE celebrations (yes, they are allowed — but…): “The only thing that I will tell you about water bottles, is what goes into the body generally wants to come out of the body. There are no bathrooms at this event.”

Will showing e-tickets on a mobile phone to get to events in the area be accepted? (Yes, but…): “Paper cannot run out of battery or crash.”

NYPD warned attendees to beware of fraudulent passes. These have been used by scammers in previous years.

NYPD asked people to be aware that there have been scammers at the New Year’s Eve events selling fake passes.

Security will be tight for this year’s event. At all entry points, and at the spectator viewing areas, each person will be searched with a hand-held wand.

  • Back packs, Umbrellas, lawn chairs, picnic blankets, large coolers, large bags and alcohol are not permitted. All bags will be searched. Persons declining search will not be admitted into the area.
  • “Plain clothes” officers will be deployed throughout the event.
  • Newspaper/circular type vending machines will be removed prior to the event.
  • Manhole covers are to be sealed shut (41st-50th Streets, 6th-8th Avenues).
  • All waste receptacles will be removed on Broadway and 7th Ave. from 42nd to 48th Streets. All traditional receptacles will be removed from 34th Street to 59th Street. Big Belly solar receptacles will be sealed in those areas.
  • Sector commanders will survey their posts and direct the removal of accumulated garbage prior to the event.
  • Sanitation will remove bagged garbage (bottles, etc) throughout the event.
  • Postal service to service all mailboxes 34th to 59th Streets, on 7th & Broadway.
  • Radiation detectors will be deployed for use during the event.
  • Special instructions will be issued to each post covering the following topics: Suspicious packages, search guidelines, monitoring crowds, escorting residents and dinner guests.
  • Rooftop posts are positioned along the event as well as overseeing the access points.
  • Mobile Field Forces are available for immediate response if needed.
Security will be tight in Times Square on New Year’s Eve 2022. Photo: NYPD

Sergeant Eric Perez told local businesses on a zoom call this morning that NYPD will have over 17,000 linked cameras trained on the event, in a partnership between the police force and public-private stakeholders. There will be over 500 license plate readers in fixed and mobile positions around Times Square.

While Broadway will be dark for the evening, there will be some shows in the area. Radio City will host four Christmas Spectacular shows that day, MSG arena will welcome in 20,000 fans of Phish, and the Palladium (Nokia Theatre) will see 2022 in with Masquerade NYE.

More details for local business owners and those staying at local hotels can be found in this Times Square Alliance/NYPD release.

If you cannot make it to the ball drop this year — but would like a little piece of the action — Times Square Alliance has their 2022 Wishing Wall at the Broadway Plaza between W46/47th Streets. You can write your wish on a piece of Times Square confetti from 11am-8pm every day until December 29 (excluding Christmas Day).

Write your wish on a piece of Times Square confetti at the 2022 Wishing Well. Photo: Phil O’Brien

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