Outrageous Scalping of Inaugural Event Tickets
Entry to the biggest event in Washington is free if your congressman or senator grants your request, but with demand outpacing supply a traditional giveaway has turned into a thriving online marketplace.
On Ebay you can find every Inaugural Event and just about every price imaginable. Some Inaugural Ball and Inaugural Parade tickets are going for under $100 while others are going for $1000 to $5000. This type of activity is to be expected to some degree on a market such as Ebay,s.
see this earlier story on NowPublic by Rachel Nixon on the Ebay ticket action:
However, what about ticket agencies.
Legitimate ticket brokers -- the same companies that peddle tickets to rock concerts and NASCAR races -- are selling tickets to the swearing-in of Barack Obama for thousands of dollars, even for standing-room areas on the National Mall.
Organizers of the inauguration say it violates the spirit of the event and could spell disappointment for people who buy tickets for the January 20 ceremony.
Congressmen and women are given a certain number of tickets each to hand out at their discretion.
The government has printed 250,000 tickets so far, holding them in a secure location. For information on how to get one, check out http://inaugural.senate.gov/.
Ticket brokers act as middlemen, selling inaugural tickets they say they purchase from Capitol Hill employees and people who get them from members of Congress.
What can be done to control this practice of denying deserving Americans who would be honored to be included, from missing out while some folks provided the honor decide instead to make a few bucks. It is being rumored that some of these companies are "brokering" these tickets for between $20000 and $40000 each.
"Some will be distributed this way. It happens with baseball games and concerts. But we are going to take every step we can to make sure these tickets get into the hands of those who themselves intend to attend this event."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the inauguration committee, said Monday she she was prepared to ask Congress to make it a crime to scalp inauguration tickets.
Since tickets do not have attendees' names on them, Gantman said it's inevitable some will be sold.
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada