Ticketmaster Drops The Ball On Inauguration Tickets

by Sophie Pyle · January 7, 2013

    Citizens hoping to attend the Inaugural Parade or one of two Official Inaugural Balls by buying tickets today will be surprised to find the tickets have all sold out, due to an accidental pre-release of the tickets last night.

    Prospective attendees had to join the Presidential Inauguration Committee's (PIC) email list in order to get more information on when to purchase the tickets, because no information was posted on the Web site. This list of people received an email from Julianna Smoot, co-chair of the PIC, yesterday (Sunday) at about 3:30pm EST, which said to stay on the lookout for tickets today, January 7:

    But, at 7:30pm EST on Sunday, access and pin codes to Ticketmaster's Inaugural ticketing page were sent, enabling prospective attendees to purchase the tickets at least five hours ahead of what is technically Monday.

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    In spite of the warped start time, tickets sold out in minutes, leaving unlucky hopefuls stuck with no option but to try to get tickets from third party sellers, like this seller from Alexandria selling a set of two parade and two Inaugural Ball tickets for $4,000 on Craigslist.

    Tip: Some congressional offices have extra swearing-in, ball, and parade tickets. Try to contact your congressman or senator's DC office if you are still looking for tickets!

    Many of the people shut out of the ticket sales vented on the PIC's Facebook Page, underneath their new cover photo. Some suggested the PIC host a third Inaugural Ball (one is exclusive to military families), and some complained about "timing out" errors on Ticketmaster.

    Ticketmaster is taking full responsibility of the blunder, but is offering no solutions other than saying it was "first come, first serve" with no tickets guaranteed to anyone. Perhaps that is the case (and no exact sale time was ever offered), but there are still many people wondering why they'll never get a chance to buy today, the scheduled day to buy tickets.

    Related: [Bars Open Until 4am During Inauguration Week! Eight Days Of Late Night Parties!]

    Update [12:22 pm]: Ticketmaster will have further information on sales "later." Members of the public can call (877) 356-8495 if they have questions. No one has announced that tickets are sold out, but a rep from PIC was unable to confirm whether or not more tickets are available.

    Update [12:45 pm]: A member of the PIC committee told the Washington Post that "a significant number actually means all of them," referring to the below apology email sent by Ticketmaster:

    [Top photo via]