We present a catalog of galaxy clusters selected via their Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect signature from 2500 deg2 of South Pole Telescope (SPT) data. This work represents the complete sample of clusters detected at high significance in the 2500 deg2 SPT-SZ survey, which was completed in 2011. A total of 677 (409) cluster candidates are identified above a signal-to-noise threshold of ξ = 4.5 (5.0). Ground- and space-based optical and near-infrared (NIR) imaging confirms overdensities of similarly colored galaxies in the direction of 516 (or 76%) of the ξ > 4.5 candidates and 387 (or 95%) of the ξ > 5 candidates; the measured purity is consistent with expectations from simulations. Of these confirmed clusters, 415 were first identified in SPT data, including 251 new discoveries reported in this work. We estimate photometric redshifts for all candidates with identified optical and/or NIR counterparts; we additionally report redshifts derived from spectroscopic observations for 141 of these systems. The mass threshold of the catalog is roughly independent of redshift above z 0.25 leading to a sample of massive clusters that extends to high redshift. The median mass of the sample is M 500c(ρcrit) , the median redshift is z med = 0.55, and the highest-redshift systems are at z > 1.4. The combination of large redshift extent, clean selection, and high typical mass makes this cluster sample of particular interest for cosmological analyses and studies of cluster formation and evolution.
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