Whether you're one of the estimated 1 million people planning to watch the ball drop in Times Square this New Year's Eve, or you're just trying to avoid the crowds and street closings, here's what you need to know:
(Info via Times Square Alliance)
1. When should I get to Times Square?
The earlier the better – but you’ll need to be prepared for a long wait out in the cold. The Times Square Alliance says prime viewing spots may begin filling up in the early afternoon.
Just keep in mind, if it’s before the police have established viewing areas, you may be asked to move as the barricades are put up.
At approximately 6 p.m., the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball will be raised to the top of the pole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street).
2. What's the best way to get there?
The best way to come to Times Square is via public transportation.
But the MTA has advised revelers not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year's Eve as you may not be allowed to exit onto the street; you can exit at one of the surrounding stations — 49th Street on the N, Q, and R lines, 50th Street on the C and E lines, and 59th Street-Columbus Circle on the 1, 2, A, B, C and D lines — and then walk to Times Square.
Keep in mind, some entrances and exits may close and trains may bypass some stations if they become too crowded. You can get up-to-date information by visiting www.mta.info.
3. What streets will be closed?
Starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, the NYPD will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway as people start to arrive. You can expect closings in the area as far south as 37th Street and as far north as 59th Street between Sixth and Eighth avenues.
If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue.
4. Where do I want to be to watch the ball drop?
The Times Square Alliance recommends finding a spot on Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue as far north as 59th Street.
The sound system is set up in the Bowtie area (where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross), and the video screens on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered) are easily visible. Additional screens will be set up throughout the day.
5. What will security be like?
At the entry points, and at the spectator viewing areas, each person will be searched with a handheld wand. All bags will be searched. Anyone who refuses to be searched will not be admitted into the area. There will also be increased security around the perimeter of Times Square and an added police presence at hotels in the area, among other measures.
Pedestrian access points are as follows:
- 37th & 7th Ave
- 37th & Broadway
- 38th & 8th Ave
- 38th & 6th Ave
- 49th from 8th & 6th Ave
- 52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
- 54th from 6th Ave
- 55th from 8th Ave
- 57th from 7th Ave
- 57th from Broadway
- 58th from 8th & 6th Ave
Keep in mind, if you leave your viewing area prior to midnight, you will not be allowed to return.
6. What can't I bring?
Knapsacks, large bags and umbrellas are not permitted. Police will also not allow you to leave any of these prohibited items at the entry points. Champagne and any other type of alcohol are not allowed and will be confiscated by police.
7. Will there be bathrooms available?
No, there will be no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration.
8. Where can I grab a bite to eat?
There will be no licensed food and beverage vendors in Times Square, but the restaurants in and around Times Square can stay open.
9. What is the weather supposed to be like on New Year's Eve?
Cold. The high temperature will be only 20 degrees during the day, with a low of 10 degrees. Wind chills are expected to be near zero as the ball drops.
10. Want to avoid the crowds and the cold?
You can watch the ball drop on NY1! Our LIVE coverage from Times Square starts at 11 p.m.
For more on the event timeline, visit timessquarenyc.org.