WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Officials say they're preparing for up to 4 million people at Washington's National Mall to watch the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama.
Because only a fraction of the audience will actually see Obama take the oath of office, federal and District of Columbia officials said they will install big-screen viewing areas at the Mall and along the parade route so spectators can witness the historic day, The Washington Post reported.
"The mall actually may be the best seat in the house," said D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. "It'll kind of be like the world's biggest stage and auditorium on Jan. 20th" when Obama becomes the first African-American sworn in as U.S. president.
All plans are subject to approval by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which Obama sets up and which determines the scope of the inaugural festivities, Fenty told the Post, adding that District officials have met several times with federal agencies.
"The word we're getting from them, nothing formal yet, is that they want to open this up to as many people as possible," Fenty said. "We will follow their lead."