Trump’s Claim That He Beat Elton John’s Arena Record Is True

by : Emily Brown on : 17 Aug 2019 14:22
Donald Trump beat Elton John's crowd recordDonald Trump beat Elton John's crowd recordPA Images

Donald Trump claimed he beat Elton John’s long-standing attendance record for an arena in New Hampshire and while similar claims have been refuted in the past this one turned out to be true. 


The President appeared at the Southern New Hampshire University Arena for a campaign rally on Thursday (August 15) and upon returning he took to Twitter – of course – to brag about the size of the crowd.

He wrote:

Tonight, we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena in Manchester, New Hampshire!


In 2004, John set the attendance record with a crowd of around 11,300 and he has remained in the top spot ever since, however Manchester Deputy Fire Marshal Mitchell Cady, a fire department official who supervised the crowd-counting on Thursday, revealed Trump is in the top spot after attracting a few hundred more within the arena.

Speaking to the Mail Online, the fire marshal said the rally had an audience of around 11,500, a couple of hundred more than John’s record.

As well as those crammed into the arena, there were also thought to be around 8,000 people watching the event on TV screens from an overflow crowd area outside.

Cady explained he and two other deputies measured the overflow space to figure out approximately how many fans had filled it.

He said:

We weren’t counting it but we estimated probably in the area of 8,000 to 9,000 out front.

Based on the calculations we use for crowd load, we came to either eight or nine [thousand].


The marshal went on to say that while the department’s final inside crowd count was 11,500, there may have been more supporters who managed to get inside without being counted.

Cady explained:

Had some more snuck in during the period when we’re trying to assess the situation and get the door closed, when we’re trying to get everyone through the [metal detectors], then maybe it’s 11,500-plus.

Trump’s claim sparked debate with social media users, with many wondering if the president was exaggerating about his popularity in New Hampshire, a state he lost to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Some pointed out empty seats in high sections of the arena, however the Mail Online report an official at the SNHU Arena, who declined to be named, said the empty ‘nosebleed seats’ would have been offset ‘by all the people cramming themselves into the standing-room space on the arena floor.’

In 2016, Trump claimed to have broken an attendance record of 11,451 set by ZZ Top in 1974 in Little Rock Arkansas, however that transpired to be fake news as photos and video showed the arena sparsely populated, with local journalists estimating the crowd size at fewer than 6,000.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Donald Trump, Elton John, New Hampshire, President, rally


Mail Online and 1 other
  1. Mail Online

    Sorry Elton John, your record's not still standing: Fire marshal says Donald Trump's boast that he smashed pop star's attendance record at MAGA arena is TRUE

  2. Donald Trump/Twitter