By the Numbers: Everything You Need to Know About the New Year’s Eve Ball

Leah Bourne

nye ball By the Numbers: Everything You Need to Know About the New Years Eve BallNew Year’s Eve is synonymous with champagne, Auld Lang Syne and of course the famed New Year’s Eve Ball that descends from Times Square in New York City as the clock approaches midnight at the start of each new year. We got an early preview of this year’s New Year’s Eve Ball and in the process got to learn about its history, how long it takes to make, and found out just how much this thing weighs.
11,875 Pounds. The ball is massive—12 feet in diameter and it weighs 11,875 pounds. To put that in perspective the average weight of an African elephant is 7,000 pounds. In other words this thing is heavy.
2,688 Crystals. The ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that range in length from 4 3/4 inches to 5 3/4 inches per side.
16 Million Colors. The ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns. We wouldn’t want it any other way.
470 Feet. The ball starts its descent from 470 feet above Times Square. Because of that it has to be specially designed to withstand the stresses of high winds, precipitation, and temperature fluctuation at that height.
1907. Revelers began celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square in 1904, but the New Year’s Eve Ball tradition began in 1907. The first New Year’s Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds.
1942 and 1943. The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was put on hold due to the wartime “dimout” of lights in New York City. Crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower. Hey, the party must go on.
12-Months. Waterford Crystal got involved with the New Year’s Eve Ball in 1988 and it took the company a full 12-months from start to finish to build the ball that first year according to the company.
Over $1 Million. The ball has been valued at well over $1 million dollars. One million is also the approximate number of folks that gather each year at Times Square to see the ball drop in person.
Have you ever been to Times Square on New Year’s Eve? Share your story with us in the comments below.