Inauguration Day tickets in high demand

For once, politics is the hottest ticket in town. Demand for tickets to the Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama has reached a fever pitch with less than two months until the event. âÄúGetting an invite to the inauguration âÄî hard job,âÄù Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Humphrey Institute, said. âÄúYou and everyone else want to go.âÄù Most people will have to go through members of Congress to get tickets to the Jan. 20 Inauguration. For those who do contact their representatives, there is little hope in getting the coveted tickets âÄî members of Congress in Minnesota report getting multitudes of ticket requests. Rick Juaret , spokesman for Rep. Keith Ellison , said more than 1,700 people have contacted the office for tickets. One problem âÄî Minnesota representatives only have 198 tickets to distribute, and senators have just a few more. âÄúWe havenâÄôt made a determination in terms of how weâÄôre going to [distribute the tickets] yet,âÄù Juaret said. University sophomore Andrew Lavalle said he applied through Rep. Ellison and Sens. Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar to get tickets. Though his chances of securing official tickets are tough, Lavalle said he intends to go to Washington D.C. and watch the Inauguration regardless. âÄúThis is historic,âÄù he said. âÄúThis only happens so often that you have a new face, a leader who inspires people like this.âÄù Some others might have an easier path to tickets, Jacobs said. Campaign donors or volunteers might be able to get tickets through the campaign, he said. âÄúYouâÄôre going to have to stand out from the crowd,âÄù Jacobs said. ThatâÄôs what University sophomore Ted York hopes happens. York said he doesnâÄôt plan on applying to get tickets through Congress, but will try to get tickets because he spent about a year as a field organizer for the campaign. Still, York acknowledged his chances to gets tickets to the event are slim. âÄúIâÄôm not really holding out too much hope,âÄù he said. Sales Ban? With such a high demand, tickets have begun popping up for sale online, despite the fact members of Congress donâÄôt have them yet. One eBay seller was offering inauguration tickets for more than $2,300 Monday , despite eBayâÄôs recent decision to delete inauguration ticket offers. A call to eBayâÄôs media relations was not returned Monday. Sen. Dianne Feinstein , D-CA, has proposed a bill to prohibit the sale of inauguration tickets, an act that has some online venders concerned. Carl Rose , owner of Stagefronttickets.com , compared the proposed ban to Prohibition . Rose also runs a website called inaguraltickets.com , which will sell tickets to the actual inauguration and other inaugural events, such as the preceding parade. âÄúPeople are still going to buy and sell tickets,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs going to happen. Whether they allow legitimate companies like usâĦto do it is to be seen.âÄù Rose said the demand for Inauguration Day tickets is unprecedented. Jacobs said there is always enthusiasm for when a new president takes office, especially with Obama. âÄúI think Barack Obama has really excited people in a way that is unusual,âÄù he said. âÄúThe people who support him support him intensely.âÄù With high demand, potentially high prices, and Inauguration Day falling on the first day of spring semester , some are looking for an easier way to witness history. âÄúGet a TV and watch,âÄù Jacobs said. âÄúThatâÄôs what I plan to do.âÄù