The dust has settled on an incredible rally, and now everyone is asking the same question - How big was the 81st Sturgis Rally in 2021?
This year was a bounce back year for the Sturgis Rally. Leading up to the 81st, rumors swirled that 2021 would see a massive turnout, maybe even the largest Sturgis Rally ever. In some ways, the rumors were true.
SD Department of Transportation numbers as reported by the department and local News Source KOTA, indicate "more than 525,000 visitors attended the 81st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally."
"Rally attendance was up 13.8% over last year when COVID19 kept attendance low at 462,182."
Business and vendors in the Sturgis area reported increased sales, Custer State Park reported an eight percent increase in visitor traffic and campgrounds like the Sturgis Buffalo Chip saw a record number of campers, but how many people were really in attendance? Was it as big as the 75th?
No…It was not as big as the 75th.
According to the official traffic numbers released by the South Dakota Department of Transportation, the 81st Rally in 2021 was not nearly as big as the 75th, but traffic was up almost 14 percent from 2020.
The South Dakota DOT gathers these numbers from road tube counters placed at nine locations where traffic enters Sturgis. One vehicle is counted for every two axles that hit the counter on their way into town. The full DOT report on the rally can be found here.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is reporting that the 2021 Sturgis Rally was a safer rally than 2020. Though the traffic was higher this year, the number of crashes were about the same, but fatalities and DUI arrests were down.
See more rally statistics from the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety here.
South Dakota State News Reports the Department of Revenue's tax collections at the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are currently at $1,795,706k, 34% more than 2020.
The 82nd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is scheduled for Aug. 5-14, 2022. Get a jumpstart on 2022 by registering for the rally and receiving your free welcome packet at Sturgis.com/registration.