Free tickets for up-close views of the 2017 presidential inauguration on January 20th are being sold through online resellers or ticket brokers for up to tens of thousands of dollars, and lawmakers are putting a stop to it.
The Hill reported that eBay is advertising a pair of tickets to see the ceremony for a staggering $1,200, which is only a starting bid.
One reseller is even claiming, “The tickets will grant you access to ‘The Mall’ standing area at the least.” Although they also state, “We won’t have the exact location of the tickets until January 19th, but you will have access to ‘The Mall’ (see the map insert) at the least. Should the unlikely event occur that the location is upgraded, then the upgrade will be passed on to you.”
Even the so-called ‘coveted’ seats to view the swearing-in are also being sold on sites like GreatSeats.com. A prime ticket can be purchased for a cool $14,700, while others go for up to $6,900. Less-than-desirable seats on this site are reportedly going for nearly $2,000.
A disclaimer can be seen on GreatSeats.com that reads:
“Tickets for inaugural events are available primarily by request through the offices of the individual Congressional representatives and The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.”
“We are not affiliated with a political party, any state or governmental agencies, or the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies,” the website adds. “Our prices are based on location, demand, and availability and reflect the difficulty in obtaining tickets.”
Online resellers on the prowl and looking to cash-in are not sitting well with inaugural officials and lawmakers. In fact, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) Communication Director, Laura Condeluci, had this to say, “Tickets to view the swearing in of our next President are meant to be free, and it should remain that way.”
On Wednesday, Condeluci stated that the committee “does not authorize the sale of inaugural tickets.” She went on to say that they are “working cooperatively with sites like eBay and StubHub to prevent these sales, as it has done in the past.”
Scalping was an issue for President Obama’s 2013 inauguration, and officials were calling on sites to remove such ads.
Online auction site, eBay, has since taken action to prohibit the selling of these tickets and has removed listings from their site.
If you want to attend the inauguration for free, as event organizers intended, you must get tickets from your congressional office, which usually distributes them through a lottery system.
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