After two years of COVID limitations, 'New Year's Rockin' Eve''s Ryan Seacrest predicts Times Square will be “packed”


Saturday night on ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, Ryan and his co-host, Liza Koshy, will be in New York’s Times Square counting down to midnight. In 2020, COVID-19 kept Times Square empty, and in 2021, the Omicron variant meant strict limits on attendance. But this year, Seacrest predicts Times Square will be “packed.”

“We’re hoping there will be a normal or larger-than-normal crowd because we haven’t had that … ability in the last couple of years,” he told ABC Audio on Thursday. “There is, potentially, a little rain, but I think we’ll see those pens full and the streets packed.”

Koshy predicted the same, saying, “Just on our way to this interview today, it was packed.”

Aside from the crowd and the performers, Seacrest and Koshy will be laser-focused on the task at hand.

“There’s a lot of trust, I think, instilled in us to make sure that we time 10 to zero on time,” Seacrest explained, adding, “People probably have us on in the background … but once it gets to be 11:45, it’s time for us to make sure we can deliver a new year.”

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And once the ball drops? Seacrest said his late mentor Dick Clark told him the right thing to do is to let “the visuals narrate how big of a deal Times Square is.”

Seacrest noted, “Dick used to say, ‘Once you say “Happy New Year,” just be quiet. Just let the story be told by what you see.'”

At midnight, it’s time for the traditional New Year’s kiss. Koshy will smooch her mom, while Seacrest laughed, “I’ll kiss my girlfriend and probably her father. He’s a really, really good guy and I have to jump high to reach him … the guy’s tall!”

After that comes dinner. Seacrest used to have a huge meal before the grueling broadcast, but said he’s learned, “It’s better to eat at 1:30 in the morning.”

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