Inauguration Ticket Scalpers
250,000 people were fortunate enough to receive tickets to the 2nd Inauguration of President Barack Obama. The tickets were given out to the public for free with the words “Not for sale” clearly printed on each one.
When the tickets were given out, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York admonished anyone who would try to profit from them, "Some people are going to use these tickets as a chance to make a quick buck, so let me be clear. The tickets are free and must remain free."
But that didn’t stopped people from trying to peddle them online. INSIDE EDITION found dozens of Inaugural tickets posted on Craigslist. “Inauguration Tickets - $1,500,” said one posting. Another asked for "$2,000."
So INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero responded to some of those ads. After making contact on the phone, she and her producer arranged to meet those lucky ticketholders in a Washington D.C. park.
One guy they met had advertised, "Two swearing in ceremony tickets” for a whopping $1,750. Believe it or not, the seller said he worked for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Guerrero asked, “How did you get these?”
“They're mine. I'm staff,” He said.
“So those tickets are how much?”
“1,750 total,” he said.
He replied, “For both.”
He didn't have much to say when Guerrero told him who she was. “Hi, I’m Lisa Guerrero with INSIDE EDITION. Why are you selling these tickets?”
“Oh jeez,” was his only reply, as he quickly walked away.
“You work for the Inauguration staff, so why would you try to be taking advantage of these people when you get these tickets for free?” Guerrero asked again – but no response.
He did call us back later and said he was selling the tickets because he needed the money due to financial hardship.
Next, we met a woman who also advertised her tickets on Craigslist - “Three Inauguration tickets for $750.”
She said she had Washington connections. Guerrero asked, “So how did you get these tickets?” “A friend of ours works on the hill and he was able to get them for us,” she explained.
Guerrero asked, “So these are three tickets?”
The woman responded, “Yes.”
Guerrero asked, “And they're how much?”
“Two fifty a ticket,” she responded.
Guerrero said, “So two fifty a ticket, so 750?”
When the woman selling the tickets saw our cameras, she quickly tried to get away.
“My name is Lisa Guerrero with Inside Edition,” Guerrero revealed, “and I’d like to ask you why are you selling these tickets when you got them for free?”
She didn’t answer and immediately ran away.
This is supposed to be a free ceremony for Americans across the country,” explained Matt House, a spokesman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. “It's completely outrageous and unacceptable. “