Must See Obama Inauguration
November 5, 2008 7:05 PM   Subscribe

How can I see Obama's inauguration?

This site among others, claims to have tickets available for Obama's swearing-in ceremony. ($875 to stand on the Mall?) The official[?] site says, "Tickets for the Inaugural swearing-in ceremony will be distributed to constituents in January 2009 by both Senators and Representatives of Congress of the 111th Congress." What's the scoop?
posted by kirkaracha to Law & Government (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
See also this recent AskMe.

Ms. Cyrusdogstar and myself were hoping to go, but based on the links there and here it sounds like you need tickets to get anywhere near the event? Originally we assumed the tickets were just for those in the immediate area surrounding the ceremony platform, but that the Mall would be free. But now it's sounding like that's not the case...?

If one can go on the Mall for free, we were going to post a more comprehensive AskMe about the overall early to get there, what the hotel situation would be, etc.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 7:19 PM on November 5, 2008

Oh yea, this slightly older question sort of applies too. And further dampens the enthusiasm :( oh well.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 7:20 PM on November 5, 2008

If you don't mind me piggybacking onto your question, kirkaracha, what's the preferred method of requesting tix from your senator or congressman? Is it fair to say that if either or both are Democrats, your chances of getting one are reduced? Likewise, do you have a better chance if he or she is Republican?
posted by brain cloud at 7:36 PM on November 5, 2008

I sent an e-mail to my Senator last night, and received a reply this morning saying that they didn't know how many tickets he would have to distribute, but that my name was on the list of constituents requesting tickets, and I would be contacted when they had more information.
posted by Ruki at 9:12 PM on November 5, 2008

Actually, this is the e-mail I received -

We received your email request for tickets to the Inauguration. At this time we do not know how many tickets Senator Reed will receive, but I have added your name to the list of constituents from Rhode Island requesting tickets. All tickets available for distribution will be standing room only tickets, on the West lawn of the Capitol or the Mall area. Please provide me with your home, work and or cell phone numbers so that we can contact you as additional information is received.
posted by Ruki at 9:14 PM on November 5, 2008

I got tickets to Bush II's inaguration (hey, he was the only president we had at the time) through a Senate staffer I was friends with. See if you can find someone who knows someone who knows someone who can hook you up. That's probably the cleanest way to do it. If you happen to have a particularly neanderthal congressperson or senator, there may be greater supply from that office.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:34 PM on November 5, 2008

I haven't seen any maps that lay out where tickets will be required, but in the past I've found a good spot to watch parades and see the swearing-in. That's where I'll be headed, barring any new information.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:39 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Tickets will be required to go to the ceremony which will take place on the western steps of the Capitol building. And your Congressperson is the way to get them. You don't need tickets to stand along Pennsylvania Avenue to view the parade that takes place after the Inauguration.

I went to Bush's 2004 Inauguration (yes, like Saucy Intruder it was the only Inauguration we had that year -g) and there were Inauguration "tiers." Big party people got closer than us normal citizens. I would assume it will be that way this time. I was a bit back and there was lots of empty space. (There were huge monitors that displayed the ceremony throughout the Mall.)

But that was then and this is now. I have heard that if McCain won the US Park Service was expecting 300,000 people to attend this event. However, if Obama won (and we know how that turned out) the Park Service would expect 5,000,000! So, it looks like it's going to be quite a party.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 10:15 AM on November 6, 2008

Here's the email I was just sent by the JCCIC:
Ticketing Information for the 56th Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) has issued the following information regarding the availability of tickets for the 56th Presidential Inaugural Ceremony on January 20, 2009:

Tickets to the 56th Inaugural Ceremonies will be provided free of charge and distributed through Members of the 111th Congress. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies does not provide tickets to the public. Members of the public interested in attending the Inaugural Ceremonies should contact their Member of Congress or U.S. Senators to request tickets.

The public should also be aware that no website or other ticket outlet actually has inaugural swearing-in tickets to sell, regardless of what they may claim. Tickets will not be distributed to Congressional offices until the week before the inauguration and will require in-person pick-up.

“Any website or ticket broker claiming that they have inaugural tickets is simply not telling the truth,” said Howard Gantman, Staff Director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “Tickets for the swearing-in of President-elect are all provided through members of Congress, and the President-elect and Vice President-elect through the Presidential Inaugural Committee. We urge the public to view any offers of tickets for sale with great skepticism.”
posted by brain cloud at 7:01 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

brain cloud, in answer to your question above I actually think you have a better chance of scoring a ticket if your Congresspeople are not representing districts near DC. For those of us who do live in the area, our reps are sure to be inundated with requests.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:59 AM on November 7, 2008

« Older Problems Swapping HDD into new MBP!   |   Are my gay Canadian friends married or not? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.