WASHINGTON Jan 7 Two of the hottest tickets to
President Barack Obama's second inauguration became even more
difficult to acquire after the company responsible for selling
seats to the official parade and ball on Sunday put the tickets
on sale prematurely.
Public tickets for the official inaugural parade and ball
were sold earlier than advertised by Ticketmaster, which first
alerted buyers that the tickets would be sold Monday but then
sent out a second message opening up sales Sunday.
The glitch caused the ticket broker's site to crash.
"All public tickets are first-come, first-served, including
those sold tonight," the ticket giant said in an email s ent to
potential buyers Sunday evening. "There is no guarantee that you
will be able to purchase a ticket at any time."
"Ticketmaster admitted that they made a mistake but we still
have to honor the tickets that were sold," said Cameron French,
a spokesman f o r the presidential inaugural committee.
A limited number of tickets had been made available for the
official ball, sold for $60, and the parade, offered at $25.
The snafu comes two weeks before the Jan. 21 ceremony that
will formally mark the beginning of Obama's second term.
Officials are expecting up to 800,000 people, less than half
of the estimated 1.8 million who came to cheer at Obama's first
inauguration in January 2009, when he became the nation's first