Sanders campaign claims record-breaking crowd at New York rally

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Clinton, Sanders Make Final Frenzied Push Before New York Primary

PROSPECT PARK, New York — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont drew a record-breaking crowd to Brooklyn's enormous park Sunday as he looks to build momentum ahead of the New York Democratic primary.

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Sanders attracted more than 28,300 people on the sunny afternoon, according to the campaign and a production company helping to plan the event. This total just crept higher than the campaign's previous record of 28,000 in Portland, Oregon, in August.

"In case you haven't noticed, there are a lot of people here this afternoon!" Sanders bellowed to cheers as he took the stage after actor Danny DeVito glowingly introduced him.

See Sanders' Washington Square rally:

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Sanders campaign claims record-breaking crowd at New York rally
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Attendees await the start of a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Attendees await the start of a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
Attendees hold signs in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Natalia Plaza (L) and Suzanne Tufan, with their faces painted, wait for a campaign rally with U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York, New York April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An attendee wears a t-shirt in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee holds a sign in support of Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, at a campaign event in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Sanders stepped up his feud with General Electric Co., denouncing the manufacturer as 'greedy' and accusing Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt of not being truthful in responding to the attacks. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 13: Rosario Dawson speaks onstage at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (not pictured) at Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Film director Spike Lee attends the Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square Park on April 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic)
MANHATTAN, NY - APRIL 13: U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaigns at Washington Square Park in Manhattan, NY, on April 13, 2016. (Photo by Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at his campaign rally in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses supporters at his campaign rally in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Mega-rallies have been a staple of Sanders campaign since last summer, but only in the past few weeks has he brought show-of-strength events to New York City.

At the end of March, Sanders drew about 18,000 people to the South Bronx, according to the campaign. Then, last week, more than 27,000 people showed up to hear him at Washington Square Park.

And on Monday — the night before the all-important primary — another large crowd is expected in Long Island City.

Sunday's huge turnout capped a day of several unpublicized campaign events across Manhattan and Brooklyn, including a stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park and a tour of public housing projects in Brownsville, where Sanders was struck by the lack of proper renovations and construction at New York City Housing Authority buildings.

"A few hours ago, I was in Brownsville here in Brooklyn, ... and what I learned is we have a $17 billion backlog in construction needs," Sanders said in Prospect Park. "We have community centers that are closing down."

As Sanders supporters drifted out of the rally, Bill Bernstein, a photographer by trade and native New Yorker, was nearly speechless.

"I thought it was an amazing moment in history," he told NBC News when asked his reaction to the giant crowd, which doesn't always correspond to votes.

"If he doesn't get the nomination this time," Bernstein said as his son stood by his side, "there are millions of millions of people who heard what he had to say. This is not going to die. This started something.

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