How Many Spectators Watch the Boston Marathon?

About 1 million spectators watch the Boston Marathon in person every year according to the Boston Athletic Association. However, because spectators may simply line up along the race route and aren't necessarily required to buy tickets or fill designated seating areas, it can be difficult to determine exactly how many people are watching from year to year.

The 1 million spectators estimate is provided by a combination of local police departments and other official agencies in the Boston-area towns and cities through which the marathon is run. The marathon is seen as one of New England's major sports attractions.