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Parade and Ceremonial Swearing-in Held January 21, 2013

Inaugural Ball Tickets Snapped Up Early Due to Ticketmaster Goof

Some users received link to buy tickets 12 hours early; Event now sold out.

Monday, Jan 7, 2013  |  Updated 1:49 PM EDT
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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance on stage during MTV's Inaugural Ball at the Hilton Washington on January 20, 2009. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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If you were hoping to snag tickets to the Inaugural Ball, you're already too late.

Due to a Ticketmaster goof, some users received the link to buy tickets 12 hours before they were supposed to go on sale Monday morning.

A spokesperson from the Presidential Inaugural Committee confirmed to NBC Washington that tickets are sold out, but wasn't certain whether that happened Sunday night or Monday morning.

"I was one of the ones who was literally watching my cell phone the entire time for that message saying how and when to buy tickets," Fran Hill told NBC Washington. "I was very disappointed ... It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

The Presidential Inaugural Committee had promised to make a limited number of tickets available online for $60.

Those who wanted the chance to buy tickets signed up at www.2013pic.org. The email containing the link to buy tickets should have gone out Monday morning.

Ticketmaster is attributing the issue to a testing error. The company sent a second email to users Sunday night that reads in part:

Public tickets to these events were originally scheduled to go on sale [Monday] morning -- you received the email tonight in error, and Ticketmaster takes responsibility for this mistake.

However, a significant number of public tickets were purchased this evening, despite the early email. Ticketmaster will be in touch with any additional information.

However, some users received neither email.

Would-be ticket buyer Sarah Ward-Dahl received both messages from Ticketmaster, but missed the opportunity, she told NBC Washington.

"Unfortunately I am not glued to my devices unless I need to be (say the morning of January 7th to buy inauguration tickets) so by the time I logged in everything was sold out," she wrote.

The Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center is the only official ball also open to the public. The other official ball, the Commander-in-Chief's Ball is open to military servicemembers.

 

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