Ticketmaster glitch sells out Inaugural Ball before tickets went on sale

People were supposed to receive an exclusive link via email on Monday to buy tickets to the Inaugural Ball. But instead, they received an email on Sunday saying it was sold out.

Thanks to a Ticketmaster glitch, tickets to the Inaugural Ball on Jan. 21 sold out several hours before they were even officially on sale.

NBC News, the Washington Post and other major news outlets reported that Ticketmaster sent out emails to people who had signed up to attend one of President Obama’s two inaugural events saying tickets would go on sale Monday.

Recipients were told they would receive an exclusive link sometime on Monday to buy a limited number of tickets for $60 each. The first email was sent out at 3:28 p.m. EST on Sunday, according to radio station WTOP in Washington, D.C.

Instead, Ticketmaster sent the second email at 7:26 p.m. EST on Sunday, WTOP reports, and the event quickly sold out. "Thank you for your interest in this event. Unfortunately, due to overwhelming demand, tickets are no longer available," a message on the Ticketmaster site read Monday morning. (Read other accounts of the story here.)

Several NBCWashington.com readers said they received the sold-out message Sunday night.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee, in its first public comments on the gaffe, said Ticketmaster had taken responsibility but said it warned people from the beginning that the ticket allotment would sell out quickly, Politico reported. (Click here for more on Ticketmaster’s apology shortly after midnight.)

The process was convoluted from the beginning, according to Guest of a Guest. Since the Presidential Inauguration Committee didn’t post any information on its website about ticket information, prospective attendees had to join the PIC’s email list.


NBC News, Washington Post, WTOP, Guest of a Guest, Politico contributed to this report.


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