Inauguration tickets in demand

Though Yale students overwhelmingly supported President-elect Barack Obama’s candidacy, for those hoping to watch him take the oath of office, luck is more important than loyalty.

Tickets for the Jan. 20, 2009 event are to be distributed by congressional offices shortly before the inauguration, but already the offices of the Connecticut congressional delegation are swamped with calls requesting tickets to the historic event. Congressional offices will soon be announcing how they will distribute the few tickets they receive to their constituents.

“The historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama has, with good reason, generated an unprecedented level of excitement,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro of New Haven said in an e-mail Tuesday. “I want to make sure that the tickets I receive are distributed in the fairest manner possible and am in the process of determining how to accomplish that.”

House staffers said each congressman will be given 198 tickets to the inauguration, a number far surpassed by those wanting to attend.

Adriana Surfas, a spokeswoman for DeLauro, said DeLauro’s office has received over 4,200 requests for tickets to the inauguration.

Assuming DeLauro distributes all of her tickets via lottery, less than 5 percent of those requesting will receive tickets.

Sen. Chris Dodd’s office has received over 10,000 ticket requests, far outpacing requests for previous inaugurations.

Neither office has decided how they will distribute the tickets yet, but their polices are expected to look like those of Connecticut Reps. Chris Murphy and John Larson, who have already announced their own.

According to their Web sites, some tickets will be distributed to the congressmen’s families, friends and staff — the rest will be distributed via lottery.

Since hotel rooms throughout the region are already sold out, winners are required to prove they have a place to stay during the inauguration to ensure tickets are distributed to people can attend in person.

According to CraigsList advertisements, Washington D.C. area residents are renting spare bedrooms, living-room floors and even backyards to those seeking lodging.

Congressional offices added though that even if people are not selected to receive tickets to the inauguration they are more than welcome in Washington.

“[P]eople should not be discouraged if they do not receive a ticket, because they will be able to view the parade and the inauguration ceremony from the National Mall with no ticket required,” said Brian DeAngelis, a spokesman for Dodd said in an e-mail to the News.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Brian Farber, a spokesman for Rep. Joe Courtney. “Even without a ticket, it will be a great day.”

Over 4 million people are expected in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration. The Presidential Inaugural Committee, which oversees the day’s events, announced last week that for the first time, the entire length of the National Mall would be open to spectators.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    It's going to be a hectic day, but well worth it for anyone who goes.

  • Frustrated New Yorker

    Schumer's office fobbed its ticket distribution via lottery. What a screw up and then to not even post names online etc of people who won .. initals maybe?

    Not fair at all. I hope Dodd's office does a better job of it.