Balloon Fiesta officials release 2022 attendance totals
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More than 828,000 people attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this year.
The attendance numbers weren’t anything out of the ordinary, according to Balloon Fiesta reps, but the opening Mass Ascension did bring in a surprising amount of people.
“Opening day, I’ll say, was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at Balloon Fiesta Park,” said Sam Parks, the director of operations for the Balloon Fiesta. “All of our parking lots were full, all of our Park and Ride buses were full – I don’t know where we could have put another single person.”
BY THE NUMBERS
- 648 balloons at the Balloon Fiesta
- 130 special shapes
- 20 countries represented
- 1,144 navigators/volunteers
- 775 media representatives from 158 organizations
- 1.6 million live views
The weather was top of mind for many this year. Many Balloon Fiesta events were canceled due to unsafe flying conditions, or even thunderstorms that sent people searching for shelter on two different nights.
“We have a public safety team that meets literally six months out and those meetings take place every month,” Parks said. “So those types of scenarios, including weather, are actually practiced in what we call tabletop discussions for when something like that does happen, our public safety entities are already prepared for it.”
Every year, the Balloon Fiesta brings traffic. However, reps say they have seen some progress thanks to new parking initiatives and a new slip ramp for exiting the park off I-25.
“APD is already giving us a debrief on how that worked, it was a huge improvement – being able to exit the Balloon Fiesta Park directly and go south on I-25 was a gamechanger this year,” Parks said.
Balloon Fiesta reps also said they are working on different ways to improve their Park and Ride services for next year.