The Golden Ticket Meets Supply and Demand


The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies wants the January 20 Obama inauguration to be “one of the most accessible in U.S. history.”

But the the laws of supply and demand are making accessibility hard for the average citizen.

To get a free ticket to the inauguration ceremony, you either need to know someone (a senator or representative from your state, the president-elect, the vice president-elect, etc.), or you need a lot of money: ticket brokers are asking as much as $20,095 for a single ticket, reports CNN.

Tickets along the parade route, meanwhile, where Biden and Obama will walk between the White House and the Capitol, were only $25 apiece, but they went “blazingly fast,” reports the BBC, and if you want one now, you’ll likely pay a dear price.

Even if you do secure a ticket, you’ll likely encounter overpriced and scarce transportation and hotel rooms: some area hotels have as much as quadrupled their prices, reports the Boston Globe.

Some would-be inauguration attendees are even canceling their trips due to concerns about travel and expenses, reports, and Washington’s officials have reduced the estimated number of inauguration attendees from four to five million to two million.

If you were given a ticket, would it be worth your while (and money) to go? Or if you’re one of the people who does have a ticket, what’s your survival plan?


My sister-in-law won some drawing for one one out of 5000 in the drawing. She and my brother-in-law live downtown DC. She will be going to the parade and he will be going to the ceremony. No cost other than a vacation day all-around for them.

It would have to be the same thing for me to go. If I could sell the ticket for a thousand or so, I would do it. I would much rather invest that money in my children's education than be a part of even a 100,000 person crowd.


One of the few times in my life when I've been glad to be FROM Washington--two friends and I are staying with my mom, and getting a ride downtown (to within walking distance of the Mall) from her. She's not going to come down to the ceremony, sadly, as she doesn't like cold, large crowds, or security guards.


I'm in DC for school, and I'm sincerely considering skipping town for the weekend.

It's a city built for 500,000 that will have to house 5 million. It's going to be crowded, awkward, and dangerous. Crime and injuries galore. I'm tempted to not leave my apartment.


1. Sell the ticket to highest bidder

Now there are two possible outcomes

1. Barack Obama becomes a huge success and legendary in status. Then he would win the electio next time anyway and make sure to aatend his ceremony then.

2. Barack Obama flatters to decieve. People are frustrated with him. In that case they wont want him back. so , the ticket price mainly driven by the " i was there " sentiment becomes overinflated...

WIn-win situation


Look, people have different preferences for crowds. Personally, I love a big happy crowd and draw energy from it.. I have parade and ball tickets and am going to love the celebration. Fortunately, I live close to The Mall, so I'm going to sleep at home, wear walking shoes, and carry hot packs in my gloves like I do when skiing. Stuff like this is why I moved to DC to begin with.

I considered renting out a room in my house, but it's difficult. The person would be around all my stuff, so I have to invest time to select them carefully. Like a new roommate I'd probably have to meet several peeps before selecting one who wouldn't be a disaster. So not worth the time and risk for a few hundred dollars. Remember, there's a cost to having a stranger in your home.

fyi. I've had several friends put their apartments on craigslist (1 months rent seems to be the going listing) and no takers.



We do not have a ticket to the inauguration, but we are going anyway - we have a hotel in Frederick, which we reserved at $66/night in Nov, 2008, and is now being sold for $199/night, and we have MARC train tickets. We plan to go to the Mall, watch the speech on the big screen, and be a witness to history. The historical context will be more significant and memorable in person rather than on TV. I saw Barack Obama present his stump speech in person at a packed house at Mellon Arena here in Pittsburgh election week. I will never forget that speech, unlike the hundreds of speeches i heard on TV. Sometimes, its worth a little inconvenience!


If Obama were smart, he'd hire a duplicate, triplocate, quadruplicate to attend all events, stay home with the wife and kids and watch himself becoming inaugurated on the television. What a hootenanny.