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

National Mall to be open for Obama inauguration

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Empty suit, empty promises December 4th, 2008 12:39 pm ET


    What a sour, pessimistic view you have on life. Every post you have placed on these blogs has been full of negativity. I wonder what has happened in your life to create such a dour person.

    If it is simply the outcome of the elections, think of it this way: This administration will last only 8 years (at most) and then you will have the opportunity to elect a replacement.

    In the meantime, cheer up! Things could be worse: You could be living in a third world country like Darfur right now , being forcefully displaced without a home, food, or clean water to drink. Be thankful you live in a country where you can continually make such disparaging remarks without legal retribution.

    December 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Mark

    This is democracy, small "d". Millions of people participated in the democratic process for the first time. Opening up the Mall to those who wish to further participate is a good thing, and since it is owned by all Americans makes all the sense in the world.

    President – Elect Obama is the chosen one: chosen by almost 70 million people as the next President. That's the way it works.

    I choose to think about the challenges we face as a country and as a people, and how we can face and surmount those challenges.

    The only thing sour grapes make is good whine.

    December 4, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Comradio

    To the fellow talkng about the closing times for bars in DC. People have to have places to go brother. It's just a fact. People like bars. People are going to be packed into the city like sardines at night. It opens more sleeping space if someone stays out celebrating. I get your point. Mine is that it's not a big deal. Do you want to forbid alcohol and bars or just ruin people's spirits? Relax. No one is reporting on it because no one really cares. Think about it. Media isn't tailored to you or anyone elses views entirely. It'd also be a bad idea if it were.

    December 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. JL

    Good; so will my TV set (LOL); it's going to CRAZIIIIIIIIIIIE to say the least in W.D.C.; but I'm glad to the see eveyone in America is VERY happy about our new President. This country isn't so bad after-all.

    December 4, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. RCLGuard

    To: Empty Suit, Empty Promises.....Empty Head

    December 4, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. To Empty Suit

    Truly. Get something positive to do with your life. It is a historical event. There will be a lot of people. Money will be made. Get over it.

    December 4, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Chelsea

    Empty suit: Prohibition ended in the United States in 1933... get over it.

    December 4, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. wanda a.



    December 4, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Peggy - TX

    To: Empty suit – The message is that they have safety concernes such as maybe not wanting a lot of drunk people driving at 5:00AM in the morning just before rush hour. You are reading too much into this. There is no "peasent" verses "media" rift going on. Are you a bar owner by chance, or just a bitter person with nothing of substance to complain about?

    December 4, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. John B. In NH

    hey "empty suit"
    guess who annointed him. your fellow 62+ million citizens, not the media. nice try though. go back to fox noise, and have a good ole o'reilly rant! HAHA

    December 4, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. umu ule

    that will be cool and good enough space

    December 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Chris in PA

    I will be there and I am excited!!!!!

    December 4, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. rob

    Can't wait to be in the number. Hopefully I will get a chance to view the Big Screen

    December 4, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Lynne

    I will be watching it from my nice warm house. It sure will be some event.

    I have been reading these blogs and the mean spirit makes pity some of you. I will be praying that god help to open your hearts and minds and he grant the the grace to not be treated in your own way.

    December 4, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. Sardonicus Rex

    Where will the Kool-Aid stands be set up so everyone can take a big drink?

    Jim Jones

    December 4, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Steven

    Yes. DC will be fantastic. Will definitely be out there.

    December 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Yoni Deleon

    I wish i could be there but it's going to soooo crazy I better watch it on my plasma. it's probably be a better view anyways. Sorry Obama, but you know I have nothin' but 'ove for you ya!

    December 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. marianna

    It's good to be king

    December 4, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. 3strikes

    there were so many people that voted for nobama just to see or make "history" and others that see him as the messiah, thinking that his goin to help the homeless mother feeding her baby out of a trash can or "save" america. nobamas presidency is goin to be the exact opposite of serendipity, no change, more of the same washington insiders and the people that voted for him just dont know it. he pandered change, and over 65 million dum-@$$es believed that sucker. so go on ahead and defend your false prophet.

    December 4, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Mary E. Portis

    This is certainly an historic event. I am trying best to be in the number. I want to record this in my book of "I was there when..."

    December 4, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. John

    I wounder if palin can watch this event from her house in Alaska?

    December 4, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. George

    Wow, the space committed to the event is now about a tenth of the size of his ego.

    December 4, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. CNN = Jerry Springer of News

    Empty suit, empty promises December 4th, 2008 12:39 pm ET

    "Why are we not hearing that DC is going to keep the bars open till 05:00 am for THREE days while the chosen one is coronated into his rightful throne?"

    "Seriously, what kind of a message does that send, you peasants have to close down at 02:00 am, but the media annointed one is having a party, so pen up the spickets for three days and let's get lit everyone."
    First of all, CNN did have a link to this story yesterday (or perhaps it was MSNBC). Secondly, it is the DC businesses with the support of the mayor pushing for this to happen (and it is 3 straight days of 24 hours, not closing at 5 am). The businesses are the ones trying to make a profit on this, not Obama.

    December 4, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. MLH

    If you are going to sweep the Mall that morning and then allow a million people in, that sounds like a Black Friday morning at Wal-Mart. Excited as I am about it, I'm setting up camp in the living room with CNN, snacks and friends and family.

    December 4, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Yoni DR

    Here's some Hatepoblicans doing what they do best!

    December 4, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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