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. I wish

    Dear President elect Obama,
    I would soooooo love to be there, but I have to wait for you to work miracles on the economic disaster that Bush left you with. I hope you and your family have a great time – you deserve it.
    If you have a spare ticket though............

    Obama Mama in Teaneck, NJ

    November 8, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Jack Wood

    If Obama really wants to show that he is going to change Washington, he should put the brakes on the large inagueration parties and the tax payers money spent on them.

    November 8, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Erasr

    The title of this article should be edited to make it clear that this is a scam.

    November 8, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. jamie

    I would not go if it were free!

    November 8, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. JJay

    Typical..the same kind of people who voted against Obama now want to exploit his inauguration for profit.

    November 8, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. iandotcom

    I'd love to be there, watching one of the most inspirational men in the world being sworn into one of the greatest offices in the world.

    Alas, I doubt I'll be able to make it to America at my age.. I got school that day...

    November 8, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. erika cokley

    If they are only being handed out a few days before how are we suppose to get it. What if you want to prepare anf book ahead for this event. You cant plan a trip not knowing if you will if you will get a free ticket. How are they going to distibuted and are they only going to be in DC or are they going to be giving out world wide.

    November 8, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Ana Rivera

    This is supose to be a public event; or I am wrong about this. Most of the people that voted for Obama can barely make it from pay check to pay check, How in this world can then pay thousand dollars for this event.?????

    November 8, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Thelma Elliott

    I'm a 69 year old woman who has seen many, many presidential elections, always voted Democrat. I have never had any desire to attend the "Swearing In Ceremony " but this time it is different. Obama was choice and is now my President. How can I get two (2) tickets to his "Swearing In" ceremony? Please Help.....................


    November 8, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. MIKE, CA


    November 8, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Moe, NY

    I don't have to worry about tickets, I could not afford the air fare or hotel rates anyway...but, I can dream!

    November 8, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Lolita

    Im am very excited about this up coming day and i wish i could be there but like many americans i will settle for watching iot on the t.v.. Good luck and God bless America and President- elect Obama!!!

    November 8, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. T FROM AZ

    I would so love to attend the Inauguration Ball. Does anyone know how you would even begin to get them? Do you write your local Gov Office??? From what I've read lately. These tickets will be hard to get and very expensive eventhough they're supposed to be free?

    November 8, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Simmy


    November 8, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  15. Jon, Washington DC

    "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."

    Um, U.S. Senators ARE members of Congress.

    November 8, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. D

    Nice to see our government in all it's grandeur of a beacon of democracy, can't even supply enough tickets for people to stand and watch the swearing in. For someone who is supposed to have great knowledge for planning, they certainly drop the ball every 4 yrs. Add to that a voting system that can be hacked even by a novice and America is no beacon for smooth democracy. We should be the best at it and set a standard for others. Excellent voting machines, irregularities and by all means have enough room for the people who want to pay to go to Washington to be able to see their president swear in.

    November 8, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Lynn in NM

    Gee, what a surprise! Another Democrat selling the White House, and he's not even in it yet..

    November 8, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. sw

    This inauguration should take place at Fed EX field. It probably could hold way more people and maybe I could get a ticket...cheaper!

    November 8, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |

    I want to buy one

    November 8, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Terry

    Don't even think of scoring one of these tickets, Joe Sixpack. This ceremony is strictly for the rich and famous ...

    November 8, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. Marge

    Gee obama supporters acting just like they did in his campaign.

    November 8, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. John Ensslen

    I wish there was raffled or lottery system. Right Now, I believe no typical American will see the Inauguration ceremony because of COST $ I would love to see BOTH Vice President elect And the President Yet, I can NOT afford $500.00 to $1000.00 per person. I would n't care, if I'm standing afar just as long, I'm there.
    It's because, I had Dr. Jill Biden for my instructor at Deaware Technical & Community College in Spring Term 2007. I would love to meet the New President & Vice Presdient Plus Dr. Jill Biden promise if he makes something, I would be invited

    November 8, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Poor man

    No problem ! Some filthy rich liberal will scoop those tickets up !

    November 8, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Susan

    are you sure the guy is Karl Roes?
    It must be Karl Rove........... the tactics is his...

    November 8, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. 30-m-PA-Democrat-voted McCain

    No thank you! He's not my president.

    November 8, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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