- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thousands of tickets to watch President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural parade from the bleacher seats sold out in less than a minute Friday, and then just as quickly popped up for resale on various Web sites.

Ticketmaster sold the 5,000 tickets on behalf of the Presidential Inaugural Committee for $25 each, limited to four tickets per purchase, for what is expected to be the most attended presidential inaguration celebration since Lyndon B. Johnson drew 1.5 million people in January 1965.

Tickets went on sale at 1 p.m. and were no longer available at 1:01 p.m., according to blogger DCist.

“Did anyone actually manage to score any?” the blogger asked.

Well, yes, but many of those people are offering the tickets for sale on Craigslist.org. One anonymous seller is offering four tickets in “section gray, B.” “E-mail with an offer,” the seller asks.

A second seller offered four tickets, writing, “I am looking for $2,000 for the set or best offer, and I can also split these tickets up. All reasonable offers are accepted.”

“I somehow got through,” said a third seller offering three tickets for $25 each.

Some buyers on Craigslist are advertising how much they are willing to spend, while some sellers are soliciting offers, presumably for more than face value. One area man said he is willing to trade his Super Bowl tickets for the parade tickets.

Scalping is illegal in the District and carries a $50 fine.

Emmett S. Beliveau, executive director of the inaugural committee, said the tickets were to be make available to the public “as part of our commitment to holding the most open and accessible inauguration in history.”

“The inaurgural parade is a celebration of America, and we are making sure that as many citizens as possible can take part in this historic tradition,” Mr. Beliveau said.

Tickets are required for the bleachers seats in the viewing stands, but anyone can view the parade, which will move along Pennsylvania Avenue for nearly two miles.

• Richard Gross contributed to this article.

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