November 11th, 2008
10:02 PM ET

Inauguration Scalping

Some friends of mine went to the Coldplay concert in Atlanta on Monday night.  They sat in the fourth row back, took some AWESOME phone pictures, and paid a couple hundred bucks for the tickets.  I just looked up the round-trip cost of an airline ticket from here to Rome, Italy; that's going for about a thousand bucks.  And we reported last school year on Miley Cyrus tickets selling for more than $1,000 each.

But it seems unbelievable that some brokers are asking TENS OF THOUSANDS for a spot at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration - an event that's supposed to be free.  Of course it's more historic than any concert or vacation, so it makes sense that some people would pay to be there.  But would you be willing to spend more than $20,000 to see it up close?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: News Coverage
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Danielle

    13,000 dollors for a ticket that should be free??? That is absolutly horrible! I think that is just wronge!

    November 12, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  2. Allison

    I think it'll be wonderful to see it up close, since its a historic event.
    But, I'd rather watch it on tv if the prices of tickets would be that high.
    I wouldn't buy a ticket even if I was rich

    November 12, 2008 at 2:10 am |
  3. Ms. L

    Wow. All I can say is that if people pay thousands to see the Chicago Cubs lose again and again, why not pay to see an actual winner. It may be a chance of a lifetime for all of us. President Elect Obama has always conveyed inspirational speeches, I can only image that this one will be the same or even better. However, unless I get the free ticket (and air fare) I will have front row seats at home 🙂

    November 12, 2008 at 7:50 am |
  4. Nihar

    That is just like asking would you pay $20,000.00 to see a president's speech? No, I really wouldn't because it isn't worth it with the econonmy in jeopardy, and people are getting laid off with every company you could think of. It is just unamerican to sell tickets for thousands of dollars for the inauguration speech when they are given out for free.

    November 12, 2008 at 8:08 am |
  5. brynley

    It is no fair.people should not have to pay that much

    November 12, 2008 at 8:16 am |
  6. Sarah

    Even though I would like to see the president up close, I don't think I would pay all this money for it. It's supposed to be free and for everyone! If they're asking for thousands of bucks, this ticket is going to get limitad to certain rich people. And I'm sure this is not what they are looking for.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:11 am |
  7. Hilary

    I think it’s a Ridicoulus amount of $ because then everyone is going to go broke.When you can watch on TV for free.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:44 am |
  8. will

    I think the price of these tickets are insane 20,000 for a ticket is crazy I understand this is important I think with the economy being bad we should spend that much on a ticket to something u can watch on tv and see it better

    November 12, 2008 at 9:45 am |
  9. Tony

    I understand that the Inauguration of President-Elect Obama is an once-in-a-lifetime historical event, but with a price tag in the thousands to see the event...I'll stay home and watch it in the best seat available...my couch! It will be just as memorable on my sofa!

    November 12, 2008 at 9:45 am |
  10. ursala!

    i know that it is really cool to see something like that but i dont think that i would not even pay that much money to see my dad sworn in as president. honestly with the economy as bad as it is i dont think that anyone is going to be able to afford it. this is going to be a big historical mark but i can just tape it and watch it again and again if i want to see history.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:48 am |
  11. peyton

    I think it’s insane to pay this much money to watch an inauguration that you can see on TV anyway. Hello people we are in an economic crisis!!! This is no time to spend a ton of money on a ticket to the presidential inauguration. Even though it’s a historic election I don't think it's worth that much money!!!

    November 12, 2008 at 9:49 am |
  12. ursala!

    i know that it is really cool to see something like that but i dont think that i would even pay that much money to see my dad sworn in as president. honestly with the economy as bad as it is i dont think that anyone is going to be able to afford it. this is going to be a big historical mark but i can just tape it and watch it again and again if i want to see history.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:49 am |
  13. Jamie

    I think that the inauguration is important but don’t you think it’s just crazy to sell a ticket for 20,000 DOLLARS!!! . Imagine what you can do with that much money. There is enough money to buy a car or a trip to Italy for that much. Are you sure you want to see ONE president get in for 20,000 when you can see as much as your lifetime allows for FREE!!!!

    November 12, 2008 at 9:50 am |
  14. georgia

    i think its outrageous that all these people are selling these tickets for so much money. and that there are actually buyers out there buying them. i mean with the way the economy is going everyone should be saving their money for future use if the economy gets to bad, not for the inauguration, yea i mean its important, but you must have t.v or a radio. you can watch it or listen to it from there. people need to realize that if there are other option to seeing or hearing the inaguration for Obama then use those other options. not the one that would cost you so much money to see something that will only last less than few hours. use your money more wisely.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  15. Surada

    I will not pay for it. I mean really you need to see that close and pay for $20,000. I would rather save that money and go spend for something or I just wait for my luck may be someday I will see President Barack Obama.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  16. Alex

    I think that the tickets should be free. I mean, I have seats that are just as good that are in my living room, and they are free, and more comfortable! Some of the prices for the tickets would pay for a couple really nice vacations to the Caribbean, or a really, really nice car.

    November 12, 2008 at 9:53 am |
  17. Anne

    This is ridiculous! I would never want to pay that much to see a presidential inaguaration. I know that this is technically the most historic one so far, but even so, come on, people! Ten grand or more just to see Obama become president, when the economy is this bad. You can watch it on T.V. and it wouldn’t really be any different. But what makes me mad is those greedy scalpers taking advantage of others, when they might not get as many tickets as they think they will in the first place. A presidential inaguration should be free, for crying out loud. Do we want to look back at this inaguration and say, “I was there for Obama’s inaguration,” or “I’m still in debt because I went to see Obama’s inaguration”?

    November 12, 2008 at 9:55 am |
  18. Tonio

    It is the most important moment in the career of a new president and one of the few moments you can see him live in front of you. How dare they giving this rare chance to only those who have the money for it?

    Anyway: Barack Obama is not an animal in the zoo, like you had to pay money first to see it walking around...

    BTW Coldplay and their new album is simply AWWWESOME!!!!! I just love the songs "Lost" and "Lovers in Japan" (and of course "Viva La Vida" and "Violet Hill")!

    November 12, 2008 at 11:47 am |
  19. Crook

    The scalping of the inauguration tickets is wrong. What is supposed to be free isn’t meant to be sold for so much money. It’s not American. People should be able to witness the history of America swearing in its first African American president for free.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  20. chelsea

    I personally think it is ridiculous for those tickets to be sold for that high of a price. With the economy as slow as it is and people not having money to live on, others should see that this is crazy while we're in this economic crisis. The tickets should be free and on a first come, first serve basis. Who really needs to see this so much that they will pay thousands of dollars for it?

    November 12, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
  21. Cynthia

    I do think that it would be really neat to attend the inauguration for Barack Obama, but paying that much money is ridiculous. I don't even understand how this could be an option to sell tickets for that much when people are struggling just to make ends meet. The price is also crazy because it's supposed to be free.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
  22. justin

    it's insane that people would even consider selling tickets to a presidential inaguaration. Of course it's a historical event but $20000? They should find who is trying to sell the tickets and arrest them.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  23. Alukaizer

    I think that the priced tickets to Obama’s inauguration is a good idea because only people that buy the ticket for over 10,000 dollars would be the type of person that wouldn’t threaten the presidency of barrack Obama only celebrate the inauguration of this new president so yeah I think this Is a good idea.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm |
  24. Morgan

    I think it is absolutely ridiculous to be paying up to $20,000 for a ticket that was originally free. I feel like it would be just as memorable watching it in the comfort of your own home on television rather than spending so much money that not many Americans have to spend right now. Just living in this time period and being able to say that you lived during the time of America’s first black president should be enough satisfaction.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  25. Anna

    I think that it is unbelievable that these tickets that are supposed to be free and are really selling for a ton of money. This is totally ridiculous. I think that just because everyone wants to see the inauguration speech is going to be historic and all but it is ridiculous to sell them for so much money. I think that it wouldn’t be so horribly bad if they weren’t selling them for so much money.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  26. Ashley L.

    Paying that much money for a ticket to see President-elect Obama being sworn in, is ridiculous. I understand that this is a historic swearing in ceremony but, from my knowledge, no other inauguration has been scalped this badly. You can still see it on the television for a lot less and you will still be witnessing history.

    November 12, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  27. Laura

    I would never pay that much for a ticket I don't care if it's historic and all that. And the Miley Cyrus is just stupid

    November 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  28. Elizabeth

    I would never pay thousands of dollars to go see the new president. Yeah, it would be cool, but who has that money?

    November 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  29. Makayla

    I would never want to pay over $20,000 for tickets to see Obama be sworn in as a US president. I think that none of the average Americans would want to pay that much. I would rather want to pay more like $750 for a ticket. I think it is a big thing, but not that big to have to pay that much.

    November 12, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  30. Karisa

    I wouldn't want to pay that much if it is traditional for it to be free. I would definitely rather go see a coldplay concert. It's cheaper, and I can watch Barrack Obama get sworn in on TV.

    November 12, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  31. ~Katie~

    None of the average americans will be able to afford to pay 20,000 for a ticket. Most of them have to cut back on spending with the current economy going the way it is let alone have extra money to buy the tickets. If I was rich it would be really cool to see history made though.

    November 12, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  32. parker

    i cant understand why people will pay that much for one ticket and if there is a will there is a way (if you have the will to buy one)

    November 12, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  33. Ashley

    I think that it's CRAZY to pay more than $20,000 just to get a ticket to see Barrack Obama get inaugrated. I would never in my life time pay that much just for a ticket. I think that if you ever buy a ticket for that much that you're either rich or close to rich.

    November 12, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  34. Jessica

    I think that it's ridiculous! If Americans usually never have to pay a fee to see the president get sworn in why should they have to pay now. I would not pay that huge amount of money anyway because I could watch it on TV. Yah it would be cool to see the president, and be Washington D.C.
    I think that the money wasted on the tickets could help pay your bills.

    November 12, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  35. Grace

    I think this is just so silly. People are going to pay 20,000 BUCKS just to see something you can see in your house or maybe have some friends over so you have some company. I just think that this money can be spent on something else like bills, food, or even do something nice and give it to charity!!!

    November 12, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  36. pamela

    The price for the up front seats, are outrageous; I wouldn’t pay that much, when you could watch the news.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  37. Amberly

    No I would not be willing to spend that much money on seeing a president walk into a building and wave.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  38. Ross

    I think that paying any amount to see a free inauguration is ridiculous. Not only is this witnessing the inauguration of the first black president, but also the first Muslim president. If someone is crazy enough to buy a ticket, which not only costs an outrageous amount, but may not even be available.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  39. sean

    I think they should make the scalping of such tickets illegal. It is not right for them to start charging for tickets if they have never done it before. Its going against the traditional ways but i guess we are starting to do that more these days. You should be able to to watch your president be inaugurated for free!

    November 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  40. Karl

    I think that it is extremely unpatriotic to be scalping for the inauguration of the new president, even if is history. It should be public and free for anyone how is granted a ticket. I think that it is fine tot give them to other people but it is not ok to be selling them for tens of thousands of dollars.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  41. Mike

    I would not be willing to pay that much money to see something that I could watch on TV in high definition. I also wouldn't have to sit with other people and I could be in the comfort of my own home. I think it's stupid for people to pay that much when the tickets are supposed to be free to begin with. I mean come on, just stay home and watch it on TV and save your money.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  42. Andres

    I think it is like the craziest thing this year. I can’t even believe people would be selling their little tickets; it’s like taking advantage of the people that want to be part of history. Like they’ll go into their 80’s and tell their grandchildren: oh yeah I went to Barrack Obama’s swear in, and I was dumb enough to pay 20k for it! Now I don’t have money for your school, isn’t that awesome?

    November 12, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  43. Cruzz

    I think it is wrong for people to sell these tickets, because if they are supposed to be free then they should be free. I mean the economy is bad and people might need the money but so what.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  44. javier

    I think it is absolutely ridiculous to be paying up to $20,000 for a ticket that was originally free. I feel like it would be just as memorable watching it in the comfort of your own home on television rather than spending so much money that not many Americans have to spend right now.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  45. denise

    I think that it is wrong to try to make money off something that has always been free. Your just taking money from people who may need it later.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  46. Becca

    I know it may be that valuable to some people but is it really worth twenty-thousand dollars to see this speech? Some people may be dying to see the ingurgitation but I can only think of few things I would spend that much money on.

    November 12, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  47. Nathanael

    This is just wrong. It should be illegal to sell tickets to the inauguration. I mean it's just plain wrong. There is no rationalizing or justifying it.

    November 12, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  48. Ryan

    I think that its outrageous for tickets to be sold for around $20,000 when they are handed out for free. Its even more crazy because you can watch an almost front row view of Obama being sworn into congress from the comfort of your home.

    November 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  49. Noah

    I believe that since it is free you shouldn't buy tickets because the main thing is that you are just there and enjoying the ceramony it self.

    November 12, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  50. Kizzel

    My Opa served in the military for the Vetenam War and is still alive today. He tells me awesome stories about the war! My mom is also a vetran because she serves in the air force for 30 years.I also express an interest in the military so I guess a family thing.

    November 12, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  51. justin

    I would not spend 20000 dollars on tickets for the inauguration. i would spend 50, but why would they make somebody pay that much to go to inauguration.

    November 13, 2008 at 10:04 am |
  52. Wyatt

    I think that getting tickets to the most historic inauguration in time and people are going to go and try to sell them I mean come on this is probably a once and a life time experience and their going to go and sell the tickets for way more than they should. If people were smart they would just not buy them but if people are stupid enough to buy them for like 10 million dollars that's their problem.

    November 13, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  53. Kelsey

    No, I would not be willing to pay $20,000 for tickets to go to something that has always been free. Even though it a chance to witness history right, I think that it is an extremely outrageous amount to pay. There are also not so many people that do not have that much money to buy tickets for $20,000 each, I know I can't afford that. I defiantly would not buy tickets for that much money.

    November 13, 2008 at 11:03 am |
  54. Dana

    I would not spend that much money. There are many other things I'd want to buy for that much. I'll just watch it instead. I might not get a good seat anyway.

    November 13, 2008 at 11:05 am |
  55. April

    Honestly I think that seeing it from my T.V. is just fine :] I it would be cool to be their, but to spend thousands for a ticket is just insanity. It will forever be in our history book and I think that's worth a million to know were living history.

    November 13, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  56. Hunter

    If you went, I wouldn't. The event is for the biggest event in the U.S. and the tickets are sold. I would understand them being sold if they went to help the economy, but if they weren't they shouldn't be sold period.

    November 13, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  57. star


    November 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  58. Hill

    well i think that if people want to buy it then let em but if you can get them for free why are people buying tickets for $20,000? i mean you can probably just see it on tv. I don't think that it is fair for people to just get a whole bunch of tickets then sell them but i guess you can't stop that without stopping the crazy consumers can ya carl? I mean even if it was illegal it would still happen (like alchohol)

    November 13, 2008 at 8:24 pm |
  59. Kittie

    AH! What has America come to? Obama as our next President and now this! It is wrong to do something illegal to do something like this. Why would people want to waiste their money on this? I wouldn't waist my money on seeing Obama becoming our next President. There are so much more things people could be using that money with than using it to do illegal things.

    November 13, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  60. the one

    I don't think they should charge that much for tickets. And if I want to go to Rome again all I have to do is fly Space A for free because my dad was in the Army.

    November 14, 2008 at 10:51 am |
  61. Tiffany

    Just sit in the back and use a binocular so that it'll seem closer!

    November 17, 2008 at 6:44 am |
  62. Emily

    I think it is insane to pay for something that should be free. People must be crazy to pay that much money, even though it is a big moment in history.

    November 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm |
  63. Aurora

    I think its a tad too much to pay $20,000 to see the inaugration up close. then again i think its too much to pay $1,000 for an untalented singer. so maybe it would be worth it to see this historical event in person.

    November 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
  64. Alex

    I wouldn't pay $20,000 to do that. 1.) The economy is in the pits so we need all the money we can get 2.) It's way too much! and 3.) It's supposed to be free. I would MAYBE pay $2,000 but over $5,000 is just plain stupid for people to be buying!

    November 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  65. Sarah

    I think that they should have to listen to bad music for 2 to 3 hours or maybe just get a warning

    December 2, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  66. cody

    no. tv now a days gives me a close enough experience to the real thing. not worth it when i get more channels on tv.

    December 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  67. satori

    i would probably not pay lots of money unless it was the most important thing ever and any ways i could just see it on the news if its really important but i cant go.

    December 3, 2008 at 7:18 pm |
  68. alan

    Historic alright. Every hiphop concert charges so whats the difference with this one. Obama enough partying this economy needs a president whos on it not biuncing a basketball with his buddies!!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:01 am |