Ticket Pickup Begins at Convention Center, Then Bogs Down and Is Postponed
The line to pickup tickets at the Convention Center today.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee and Ticketmaster began hand-issuing inauguration, parade and ball tickets at the Washington Convention Center, at 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, this morning. While Inauguration Watch has received reports of people still receiving tickets in the mail as of today, officials from the PIC said people must pick them up at the Convention Center.
The pickup area will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Monday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. ,a PIC official said. If you ordered tickets from Ticketmaster, or got tickets by donating on the PIC Web site, you can come pick up tickets.
Today's distribution got off to a bit of a slow start, according to several people in line who said they waited about three hours. Part of the problem, several people said, was that the PIC computers malfuntioned for about an hour.
Maria Murphy, an attorney from Maryland, was there to pick up tickets for a friend, but was sent from one Ticketmaster line to the PIC line, then back again. She had been in line for almost three hours. "These are billable hours I'm missing," she said. Eventually, she was able to get the tickets.
But most people were in good spirits despite the wait. Kimberly Bassett, a Verizon executive from Washington, said she got to the Convention Center a little before 10 a.m. By 12:15 p.m, she was still in line. "It's fun," she said cheerfullly. "Everybody's excited." Then she gave a hug to a man she had met in line who had just arrived from Pennsylvania on the train.
Rob Doherty a public relations executive from Potomac, was standing behind Bassett. He was holding copies of the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
"It's like a Seinfeld episode, where people were sent from one office to another. This is one line to another," he said with a chuckle. "But everyone's in a great mood."
Those with questions about ticket-pickup can call the Presidential Inaugural Committee at 202-651-2009.
Update 3:50 p.m.: Moments after posting this item, Inauguration Watch is just now getting some breaking news that the ticketing process appears to have been postponed for the rest of the day. The PIC has sent an email to ticket holders that says: "Due to overwhelming ticket demand and a printing problem, today's scheduled ticket pick-up at the Washington Convention Center has been postponed. Please note that this affects ticket pick-up for today, Friday, January 16th, only."
The email goes on to say:
If you were planning to pick up your ball tickets today, please do NOT come today. We recommend that you come on Monday instead. We apologize to anyone who has already come to the Convention center and experienced service delays. If you need further action to fulfill your ticketing requests, please return on Monday.
Once again, this affects today only; we will follow the original schedule on Saturday and Sunday. For last names beginning with:
A through H -- Saturday*/Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. I through P -- Saturday*/Sunday, 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Q through Z -- Saturday*/Sunday, 2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
*On Saturday the will call box office will remain open for all groups until 8:00 p.m. We will troubleshoot and have a final day of ticket pick-up on Monday, January 19th.
If you would like someone other than yourself to pick up these tickets or if you have further questions about the pick-up process, please email email@example.com.
David A Nakamura
January 16, 2009; 3:40 PM ET
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