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Obama inauguration tickets fetch big bucks

Nov. 10, 2008 at 7:12 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- People are preparing to shell out thousands of dollars for tickets to President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration and may not get in anyway.

Online ticket sites are selling the tickets, with one broker asking $20,095 for a single chit, CNN reported. Legitimate ticket brokers are selling tickets to Obama's swearing-in for thousands of dollars, even for standing-room areas on the National Mall.

Senators and representatives can provide free tickets to the Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony if asked by constituents. But demand is exceeding supply for the hottest ticket in Washington, creating a online marketplace.

Event organizers said online sales violate the spirit of the event.

"We think it's absolutely insane to be selling those tickets. We understand some people want to make a buck, but for those people thinking of buying tickets, it's buyer beware," Howard Gantman, staff director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, told CNN.

Because the government will release tickets less than a week before the inauguration, brokers cannot ensure they will receive enough tickets to cover their orders. Web sites are promising a full refund if tickets are not secured to buyers.

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