Nightly News   |  December 31, 2013

New Year’s Eve Revelers Stake Out Their Spots in Times Square

As a crowd of roughly 1 million gathered, the New York City Police Department was working to ensure a safe and secure night. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening, i'm erica hill , brian is off tonight. we are just hours away from ringing in the new year. it is a tradition that dates back some 4,000 years, today it is a celebration synonymous with celebrating. in sidney, more than a million people lined the city's water front to see the show in person. lighting up moscow's red square , it was dubai pulling out all the stops, aiming to break a world record with lights displayed around the location. the display required more than 100 computers and more than 5,000 hours of work . for our own celebration here in new york, we go straight to times square and nbc's stephanie gosk.

>> reporter: hey, erica, happy new year's eve to you. there have only been two years that the ball didn't drop, 1943 and 2, that is being the city was following blackout rules. and all the brilliance will drop again. times square in new york city , there really is no place on the planet that brings in the new year with more fan fare and celebration.

>> the ball coming from the sky .

>> reporter: for over a century, the ball has dropped at the intersection of broadway and seventh avenue.

>> in times square , celebrating.

>> reporter: tonight, it continues, while behind the scenes the new york city police department works for ensure a safe and secure night. among the precautions being taken, manhole covers will be sealed, plain clothes officers will be in the crowd, and backpacks are not allowed. all the spectators will be scanned by the metal detectors .

>> new york will always be a target, and we maintain all the events like something is going to happen.

>> reporter: the goal will be to secure the crowd will style allowing them to enjoy the night. on tap for the celebration, a notable first, sonia sotomayor will be the first ring in the new year. the crowd will be willing to endure the cold temperatures.

>> i have a blanket.

>> reporter: a blanket underneath?

>> yeah, i have like two pants on, i have three shirts, a sweater.

>> reporter: this is where a mother from georgia came out early to secure the spots. while her 17-year-old son slept in at a nearby hotel. teenagers, right?

>> what we'll do for our children.

>> reporter: but nearly everyone you see says the discomfort and cold is outweighed by the fun and the thrill of being on hand for one of america's most time-honored tradition. by the time the ball drops there will be people out here waiting nine hours to see it. i give them a lot of credit. i have been out here for 15 minutes and am chilled to the bone.

>> all right, we'll let you get back inside then, thank