December 4th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
5 years ago

National Mall to be open for Obama inauguration

The National Mall, above, will be open on Inauguration Day.
The National Mall, above, will be open on Inauguration Day.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Thursday that the entire length of the National Mall will be open on Inauguration Day — the first time in history that expanse has been open to the public.

With anywhere from one to four million visitors expected to descend on the nation’s capital to view President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing in, authorities have wrestled with the task of finding enough viewing space. Just 240,000 tickets were expected to be issued for the event.

The National Mall, which has traditionally been a staging ground for the inaugural parade, can hold an estimated one million. The parade staging area has been moved elsewhere.

Space is still limited on Capitol grounds, site of the actual swearing in - Mall spectators will be able to view the proceedings on large TV screens set up by the PIC.

The PIC, which said further details would be released soon, did not say how admission to the Mall would be handled. Those hoping to camp out early to get a prime viewing spot are out of luck — the Secret Service has said they will need the Mall clear early on the morning of the inauguration in order to do a security sweep.


Filed under: Inauguration
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Mystrunner

    To Obama Show:

    Wait, what? This shows... what? This isn't even about his administration or policies. It's not even slightly negative! It just shows that a lot of people want to be at the inauguration. What gives?

    December 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Virginia

    12:59 I posted and it is still "awaiting moderation" One much later that tells someone to go to H@#$ is right there at the top. Give me a break-do my comments make you at CNN Republiphobic???? Take the moderation comment off my comments, please.

    December 4, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. PL

    "Welcome to the Obama show" your an idiot and just can't stand progress. I hear that Bush is looking for a job why don't you let him handle your finances. Or, you can still move to Alaska there a villiage up there without a idiot.

    December 4, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Sue

    You all are aware that the Bush administration has been trying to CLOSE the mall to all demonstrations, peaceful protests, and groups of any kind? I am glad to see that the voices of the people were heard and the Park Service will allow millions to see this great event.
    How can anyone STILL be pro-Bush when the country is on the verge of collapse caused by his lies and spending and evil behavior? Tell me, how could Obama possibly do anything but help? Is Fox Noise so powerful that you take Glenn Beck and O'Reilly's fear-mongering shows as truth? I saw a former Clinton aide on last night trashing Obama's choices as 'dangerous." But it's OK that Bush tortures people? That isn't dangerous to our captured servicemen? That isn't a prime recruiting tool for al-qaeda? Wake up, please. Maybe do some research of your own...there are fact checking neutral sites, you know.

    December 4, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. IND

    Ahhh - leading the lambs to the slaughter. Hang on to your wallets!! You think you're broke now - just wait

    December 4, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. rhondaj

    No one has ever complained about any other presidents inauguration why now are so many people concerned about what is being spent???

    December 4, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Howard Roark

    A transition team loaded with lobbyists...a cabinet loaded with entrenched Washington politicians...yep, change you can believe in.

    December 4, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Iowa Mom

    Welcome to the Obama Show:

    You are a serious idiot who needs some help.

    Oh and I did take my time to research McCain & Obama, which is why I voted for Obama. But I love how haters such as yourself believe that you are the only ones who research the candidates.

    December 4, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    This is ALL a bunch of crap!

    I am trying to figure out how to buy food this month.

    Ostentatiousness is a sin at this time–we are in recession if not depression.

    BUT I am not surprised.......

    December 4, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Leena

    <> You have issues.

    It's a great and smart move letting establishments have special hours in DC from the 17th to 21st.

    The bars are only staying open 2 hours later so stop throwing an immature McCain lost hissy fit over people drinking. It's only the restaurants that are allowed to stay open 24 hours for food and non-alcoholic drinks.

    I live in DC and am happy tourists will have options during their visit to our fantastic city.

    December 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Angel

    God is good allt he time..He opens doors for everyone to get a chance and I am glad about it. May God protect Obama and his entire staff and MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY

    December 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Danah, MI

    Washington is a great city. The mall is fitting because it's where Dr. King gave his "I Have A Dream Speach". I know the city will be filled to the brim with spectators and why not–it's historical.

    Kudos to Barack for pulling off the greatest election in my life time. I don't think we'll ever see anything like it again.

    December 4, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Watch it on C-SPAN for advertisement-less viewing and you don't have to listen to CNN reporters yap-yap-yap on about little they know about.

    Then if you want after-inaug commentary, you can switch. Besides, on C-SPAN they don't have the delay and often show before-the-show extra stuff.

    CNN won't post this....I bet'cha!

    December 4, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Dan, FL

    Barack has been spendthrift all along. As for me, they should not have any celebration because country is going through bad economic times. We need all the money possible to bring our economy back on the burner. Barack wants to have a big celebration because he has not spent any of his money. He is using our money for everything.

    December 4, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. paul (staunch Moderate)

    WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW December 4th, 2008 3:32 pm ET

    THIS REALLY SHOWS YOU WHAT THIS COUNTRY HAS BECOME!!!!

    _____________________________________________________

    Huh? What?? You are another sour person, constantly full of only negativity on these blogs. Just as "Empty Suit" something must have happened in your life to turn you to such a dour outlook on everything.

    Or perhaps you simply enjoy coming back in and reading all the reponses you get...

    Either way, could you please check your Caps Lock at the door?

    December 4, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. I am Canadian

    For those whiners about there should not be any party or celebration.
    Do you know what, the whole world is watching.
    This is an opportunity to bring back a positive light to your country.
    Something that got loss along the way with your current president (GW)
    They will be a party and if you don’t like it, don’t go and don’t’ watch TV
    Simples as that…Duh!!

    December 4, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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