- Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - The city of Chicago is using new technology to count visitors to Millennium Park and its numbers show 12.9 million visited the lakefront park in the second half of last year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office on Thursday said that the city now measures Millennium Park attendance using a third-party vendor that has passive electronic sensors. The city ran a pilot project with the technology, measuring visitors to the area of the park around the Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean,” and three main entrances from June 15 through Dec. 31. That count estimated 12.9 million people over the six months. The area counted covers about half of the 24.5-acre park.

The city says previous estimates found 5 million annual visitors to the park.

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