Cool, wet start holding down traffic numbers at Sturgis Rally

August 9, 2023

STURGIS, S.D.–A cool, wet start to the 83rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is holding down traffic numbers.

Traffic counters recorded a 16% decline from five-year averages during the first four days of this year’s rally, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Counts at nine locations entering Sturgis were down 13% from the five-year average on Friday, and were down 37% from the five-year average on Saturday.

The counts rebounded to a 4% increase from the five-year average on Sunday, but were down again on Monday, by 17% compared to the previous five-year average.

Through Monday, traffic counters had recorded 194,851 vehicles over the rally’s first four days, compared to the five-year average of 232,353.

The Department of Transportation’s news release did not speculate on the reason for the declining traffic, but weather could be one factor, as unseasonably cool and rainy weather prevailed during the rally’s opening days.

The rally began Friday and continues through Sunday, Aug. 13.