Millennium Park has officially unseated Navy Pier as the most popular tourist attraction in Illinois, and subsequently in the Midwest, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office has announced. According to new figures released by the city, Millennium Park witnessed 12.9 million visitors just in the second half of 2016. The numbers not only place the park in the top spot for the Midwest region, but Millennium Park has broken into the top 10 most visited attractions in the country, the mayor’s office proclaims.
“Millennium Park has become part of the cultural fabric of Chicago, bringing children and families together from all parts of the city to experience world class culture for free,” the mayor said in a press release. “With 12.9 million visitors to the Park in just the second half of 2016, I am proud to see it become the #1 attraction in the Midwest.”
With a central location in the Loop, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park is an attraction with numerous offerings. Big draws include the popular Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor, the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa, the 2.5-acre Lurie Garden, and the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
While Millennium Park has overtaken Navy Pier as the most popular attraction in Chicago, this doesn’t mean that attendance is down at the pier. According to the announcement from the mayor’s office, Navy Pier witnessed a record 9.3 million visitors in 2016. Mayor Emanuel’s office suggests that the strong tourism numbers from last year indicate that the city is on pace to hit the mayor’s ambitious goal for Chicago to receive 55 million visitors by 2020.
- Mayor Emanuel Announces Millennium Park is Now the #1 Attraction in the Midwest and Among the Top 10 Most-Visited Sites in the U.S. [City of Chicago]
- Chicago hits new tourism record with 54.1M visitors in 2016 [Curbed Chicago]
- Chicago voted number two city to visit, on pace to set tourism record [Curbed Chicago]
- Chicago Breaks Tourism Record With 52M Visitors in 2015 [Curbed Chicago]