November 8th, 2008
06:45 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama inauguration tickets already offered for sale online

Tickets to Obama's historic inauguration are free -- even though they are already being offered online for thousands of dollars.

Tickets to Obama's historic inauguration are free - even though they are already being offered online for thousands of dollars.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Organizers of the 56th Presidential Inauguration are warning consumers to be skeptical of tickets being offered for sale online to President-Elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.

With 73 days to go, tickets are already appearing on the Internet with a hefty price tag. On eBay, 18 bidders have driven up one pair to more than $1,000. One Web site,, is inviting members of the public to place orders, warning "Our prices will reflect the difficulty in obtaining" tickets. Another site, Dreamtix, is offering a variety of seats ranging from $1,400 to $21,000 a pop.

Watch: Inaugural tickets already for sale on the Web

Carole Florman, Communications Director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, says "anyone claiming to have tickets to sell right now, or saying that they will guarantee tickets, is not telling the truth." Florman told CNN the 240,000 free tickets to the swearing-in ceremony are currently in a "secure location" and will not be handed out until a few days before. Tickets to the Inaugural Parade and official balls will be handled by a Presidential Inaugural Committee, which has yet to be formed.

The inaugural committee Web site advises members of the public wishing to attend to contact their members of Congress or U.S. Senator and ask to be put on the list for tickets.

An employee answering the phone at would give no comment to CNN about their tickets on offer. Karl Roes, the owner of, told CNN the site buys and sells tickets on the "secondary market" and, while they are taking orders, "we are not claiming we have tickets" at this time.

soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Thed Weller

    What a shame...

    November 8, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Obama gives the shaft to gays.

    Obama thinks that rights are not for all minorities but only for some like African Americans.

    Obama said he would bring all people together–yet he did not support gay marriage rights in California.

    Does Obama walk the talk???? Tell me.

    November 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. chameleon_one

    Do you need tickets just to stand on the mall?

    November 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. DG

    All of these events will be televised. I think I would rather watch it all unfold in the warm comfort of my home.

    November 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Druid Hippies Chose Wrong

    Who cares. this guy is nothing but a speech anyway, as we saw with his first presser. How many times did he say "umm" "uhhh"??? You liberals were jumping all down Bush's throat about how inarticulate he was and couldn't speak fluently, well Obama's not exempt either. You also criticized Bush for re-asking the reporters to repeat the second or third parts of their questions, well Obama did just that in his first presser. Plus, any self-respecting and honorable so-called post-partisan man would NOT hurtle disrespectful comments toward the dead husband of a former first lady, as Obama did in his first presser. Unity? Thanks, but no thanks, liberals. I say get ready for the failed policies of the next four years, thank you very much, then GET READY for the next Republican Revolution in 2010. Get ready.

    November 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. julio

    You don't sell that kind of stuff!

    November 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. it's time

    i'd like to be there, but thats out of reach for me, but i will enjoy this blessed event with cnn.

    November 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Obama says Gays Not People, Can't Marry

    Obama says blacks can marry but gays can't. He proved it by not supporting gay marriage in the California initiative.

    Is this the "unity" President?

    November 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Throw Obama's Aunt Out

    She's an illegal immigrant living off taxpayer money in Public Housing.
    And she's been legally deported by a judge.

    This is wrong. Throw her out.

    November 8, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Kerry


    November 8, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. We've Got Your Back Mr. President

    President Obama ...

    Let your ingauguration marke the end of the Greed is Good, non-value added exploitation mindset behind these sites.

    Distribute them for fee and Invalidate any ticket that is resold.

    November 8, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. Evie the evile Evelyn

    I am there in Spirit ... with my front row (recording) seat on TV ... Brightest of Blessing dear sir for your stepping to the plate – LONG – happy, healthy, long serving life ... Thank you 🙂

    November 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. mitch

    i will watch on my brand new 42 " wide-screen HD tv. i'll have a better view than anyone willing to pay $ for an inauguration that should be free to all.

    November 8, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Doug Weir

    Clearly anyone lucky enough to be honered with complimentary tickets to President Elect Obama's Innauguration or the Parade should not consider these as free tickets. You have been chosen and must be responsible enough to refrain from any temptation for a quick buck selling these. There are plenty of us who would respect consideration to attend, without any notion to buy them

    Best Regards
    Doug Weir

    November 8, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. WHAT A JOKE!


    November 8, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  16. J.C.

    Calling himself a mutt, President-elect Obama deserves to be re-elected in 2012. Is there a discount for these tickets for both inaugurations?

    November 8, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Ghost

    Nothing like ripping people off.

    November 8, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. D...New Orleans

    What a shame that the very people who votoed Barack Obama "IN" could NEVER be able to afford the Inaugural Parade and/or any of the official Balls ....I am my mother would LOVE to go to this, as I am sure many millions of other Democrats would too...
    I would expect this from the REPUBLICAN PARTY ... They would have no problem flaunting their weath during these hard times.............
    I guess I can forgive it and you this time, it has been awhile since you all have had a reason to celebrate...
    So, You all go out and have a wonderful time......
    You have a lot of work ahead of you, and I have every bit of FAITH in everyone of each of you go out and enjoy yourselves .....We are all very Proud of you ... and YES" you deserve this .... Daph

    November 8, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    Somebody needs to get rid of these ticket companies that go in and buy up large blocks of tickets and sell them at outrageous prices. Or in the alternative let you buy tickets at outrageous prices that they don't even have. I'll have a front row seat, right in front of the tv, thank you.

    November 8, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. proud ohio

    I started bugging my congressman for tickets a month ago.

    November 8, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Ticket prices are not very surprising. Either way, it will be a very happy day.

    November 8, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  22. Real Talk

    This is BS I don't have that kind of money but I want to see the Countries president inaugurated. I should not have to pay for that, it should be a right.

    November 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Barack

    I will skip work that day. See you there name sake.

    November 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. typo

    typo in caption to photograph

    November 8, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Patriotic American

    Thanks to CNN for highlighting this scam. there is so much interest in this president and the inauguration that there are bound to be unscrupulous people who want to take advantage of gullible and excited citizens.

    November 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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