The gig is up. The bikes are gone. With the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally now officially in the books, we’ve been able to comb through some of the final numbers from the big event, released by the South Dakota Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies. We also scanned other reliable sources for info, including the Rapid City Journal, the South Dakota Department of Transportation, KBHB, and other local and national news outlets. So how did 2020′s anniversary rally compare to 2019?
The most compelling stat of all in attendance and the 10-day total for the 2020 rally as reported by the Department of Transportation is 462,182 people entering – down only 7.5% from last year’s rally. That’s surprising for a number of contrasting reasons. Because this was an anniversary year (the 80th) attendance is usually expected to be higher on those events. But even if the final count wasn’t as high as last year’s event, it was much higher than expected given the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Early estimates before the rally had predicted around 250,000 attendees, though everyone agreed that was pretty conservative. (Note: traffic counts sometimes differ from official attendance figures)
Drug Arrests: 367
The State Highway Patrol said misdemeanor drug arrests were up to 241 compared to last year’s 211 tallies, while felony drug arrests were slightly down for the district (which includes both Sturgis and Rapid City) adding up slightly more folks being popped in 2020.
Non Injury Accidents: 50
The Department of Public Safety reported 50 non-injury accidents in the 10-day period for the district, which was more than the 41 reported during last year’s rally.
Injury Accidents: 56
Injury accidents were also slightly up over 2019, with 56 on the books for 2020.
This one is always tough; there was more than double the number of riders killed this year compared to 2019. 5 unfortunate souls lost their lives in 4 separate fatal accidents, compared to just 2 in 2019.
DUI Arrests: 145
A total of 145 driving under the influence reports had been filed under the South Dakota Department of Public Safety’s Sturgis Rally Tally through Sunday, August 16. Last year, there were 171 DUI arrests.
Money Seized By Authorities: $18,763
Nearly $20,000 was seized by authorities during the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, along with seven vehicles, according to a release from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. Authorities nabbed $18,763, mostly due to drug arrests made during traffic stops, according to an SDDOP spokesman. That’s over four times as much money as was seized during last year’s rally.
Money Collected For Seniors: $17,158
According to spokesman Robert Pandya of GiveaShift, the Sturgis Meals on Wheels fundraiser collected a total of $17,158 during the Black Hills Rally, all of which will go to the Sturgis area’s homebound senior citizens who rely on the program’s delivered free meals. The fundraiser was organized and funded by motorcyclists and motorcycle brands; Dan Dixxon of the Dixxon Flannel Company made a $5000 donation within minutes of hearing about the program via Klock Werks owner and rally regular Brian Klock.