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Obama’s first parade: Tickets gone in 60 seconds

The Presidential Inaugural Committee put 5,000 tickets on sale Friday at 1 p.m. and they sold out in less than a minute, with 94 percent purchased online and the rest by phone, said Albert Lopez, a Ticketmaster spokesman.

world Updated: Jan 11, 2009 01:23 IST

Tickets for the inaugural parade? Gone in 60 seconds.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee put 5,000 tickets on sale Friday at 1 p.m. and they sold out in less than a minute, with 94 percent purchased online and the rest by phone, said Albert Lopez, a Ticketmaster spokesman.

“It was a blazingly fast on-sale,” Lopez said of the tickets, priced at $25 apiece for bleacher seats.

Linda Douglass, the inaugural committee’s chief spokeswoman, called the selling time startling.

“You just have to assume there must have been people sitting there at their computers ready to go when the clock struck one,” she said.

Nearly matching the record sale time was how fast the tickets could be found on eBay, where one seller had listed the price for three tickets at $1,199.

Douglass said inaugural officials strongly disapprove of anyone seeking to make a profit from the sale of the tickets.

The parade will be held Jan. 20 after the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Nazia Abbas, a consultant from Centreville, Virginia, nabbed two tickets for her and her husband.

“At 12:58 (p.m.) I logged onto Ticketmaster,” the 28-year-old said. “I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any left, but I guess I was pretty quick.”

Abbas tried to get two more, but it was too late. She said she’ll believe it when the tickets show up in the mail (within three business days, as promised.)