Times Square Ball Drop 2023: What To Know For NYC New Year’s Eve


Thousands of people will brave the cold weather and hours of boredom to ring in 2023 by watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square in just a few days.

Whether you’re interested in attending (for some reason) or watching at home, here’s what you should know.

Is the ball drop happening, with the public allowed to watch?
Yes. It’s a far cry from December 2020, when the ball dropped over an empty Times Square due to the pandemic, and from last year, when only 15,000 vaccinated attendees were allowed.

This year, the Times Square Alliance’s website makes no mention of crowd limits or vaccination policies. Instead, it says, “there will be a large celebration in the heart of Times Square” — and visitors may want to get there sometime on the afternoon of Dec. 31, when revelers start gathering near the entrances to viewing areas.

The official celebration will kick off around 6 p.m. when the ball is raised to the top of its pole above One Times Square (on the corner of Broadway and 43rd street).

If you do, you’ll likely want to arrive early, as it’s first-come, first-served. But that comes with its challenges: no food or beverage vendors and no public restrooms will be available. If you leave a viewing area to eat or use the bathroom, you can’t return to your spot, the Alliance says.

What about TV?
All the major cable networks will air their typical live specials — on ABC, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” will kick off at 8 p.m. Eastern from Times Square. In comparison, CNN’s telecast with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will likewise start at 8 p.m. (Though reportedly in a less boozy form than in previous years.)

And the Times Square Alliance will still host its own commercial-free webcast online starting at 5:55 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

Will there be street closures?
Many of them. Hours before the ball drops on Dec. 31, NYPD will shut down access to Times Square starting around 43rd Street and Broadway, continuing north as more people arrive.

Vehicle traffic along Broadway and Seventh Avenue will likely be halted starting around 3 p.m.

“Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 3:00 p.m. or earlier above 42nd Street and as far north as 59th Street,” the Times Square Alliance says.

Visitors who want to watch in person should enter from Sixth or Eighth avenues.

Pedestrian access points for the viewing areas are as follows:

South of 41st Street:

  • 38th Street: Sixth and Eighth Avenues

North of 43rd Street:

  • 49th Street from Sixth and Eighth Aves.
  • 52nd Street from Sixth and Eighth Aves.
  • 56th Street from Sixth and Eighth Aves.