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Scalpers Making Killing on Ball Tickets

While Congress has had some success on getting online ticket brokers to delist swearing-in tickets (although they weren't able to make selling the tickets a crime), a lucrative market remains for tickets to inaugural balls -- including at least one Obama traditionally would attend.

One of the biggest ticket among the balls is the official Illinois State Society Ball on Jan. 19, as the president-elect typically makes an appearance at his home state's bash. Tickets for that party are running from $1,150 to $6,500.

Tickets for about two dozen other balls are available at online ticket brokers or auction sites, typically going for about $800, with states' official balls running a few hundred dollars more. One exception is the Texas State Society's Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball -- with former Gov. George W. Bush out of the White House, most tickets are less than $500.

The toughest ticket of all, outside the official events, remains the Hawaii State Society's first-ever inaugural ball. No tickets appear to be available anywhere, at any price -- despite the fact that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel does not appear to be on Obama's Jan. 20 itinerary.

The dearth of tickets to the official event has led Hawaiians to create alternative events -- the Aloha Ball and the Inaugural Luau. Tickets remain available for both.

As for the swearing-in and parade, a few tickets are available -- if you're willing to shell out $500 for the former or $1,400 for the latter.

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  January 2, 2009; 4:08 PM ET  | Category:  The Balls , Tickets
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What gets me is that people are paying for tickets that you can get cheaper by going to the web site. I sent a message to Craigslist telling them that a person was selling Blue Diamond Ball tickets when they have not even been released. Yeesh.

Posted by: DCZen | January 2, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

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