Ebay And Craigslist Users Were Selling Tickets For $5,000 For President Obama’s Free Farewell Speech In Chicago.
The high demand for tickets to witness President Barack Obama’s historic farewell address has prompted some money-hungry folks to sale some tickets for $5,000 on eBay and Craigslist.
Free tickets to witness Obama deliver his final presidential speech on Tuesday at Chicago’s McCormick Place were available on a first-come, first serve basis Saturday morning.
Thousands waited for hours in single-digit temperatures to try to snag a ticket.
People began lining up well before sunrise for Saturday’s 8am ticket distribution, saying they want to show their appreciation and soak in the final moments of his history-making presidency.
But because of the high demand for tickets, some folks started selling them online.
Dozens of tickets were seen on eBay and Craigslist by Sunday.
Some were as low as $300 and as high as $5,000, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Steve Bernas, the president of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, told the newspaper that people should ‘stay away from anyone selling these tickets’.
Bernas said often times people don’t realize they’ve been scammed until ushers stop them at the door.
‘Someone is always looking to make a profit on a situation, disaster or calamity,’ Bernas said. ‘I guarantee someone will be turned away on Tuesday.’
Bernas also cautioned those who plan on attending the event against sharing pictures of tickets on social media. Scammers, he said, might be able to duplicate them as a result.
‘You never know when something as huge or as phenomenal like this will happen again, so I was like “I’m not missing this for nothing,”‘ said Umar Ibrahim, 28, who took the day off from his job as a city bus driver to snag a ticket
Ibrahim woke up at 3am to start the trek to the convention center.
‘Just talking about it makes you beam,’ he said as he clenched his ticket, grinning from ear-to-ear.
Obama’s final speech to the public will continue a tradition set in 1796 when George Washington addressed the American people for the last time as president.
Obama has described the event as ‘a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey,’ to celebrate the ways the country has changed and ‘to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here’.
For many supporters, Obama’s decision to give the speech in Chicago rather than Washington added to the significance of the event.
It was in Chicago’s Grant Park that in 2008 he delivered his victory speech after becoming the nation’s first black president.
‘He’s coming home,’ said Cheryl Bellamy-Bonner, 56, who volunteered on Obama’s 2004 US Senate campaign.
‘It shows he really cares about the people.’
She explained that if there have been any disappointments in his administration, it’s that he couldn’t accomplish more, which she blamed on a lack of bipartisanship.
On Tuesday night, she’s hoping to hear what Obama will do next and ‘what we can do to help.’
Organizers didn’t say how many tickets were available, but many people walked away empty-handed on Saturday.
Among them was Stacy Bond.
The 28-year-old from suburban Evanston said she’s disheartened about President-elect Donald Trump and wanted to be in the room to hear directly from Obama, the first president she voted for after reaching the legal voting age.
‘You kind of want to hold on to that last bit of him that we’ve had,’ she said.
The White House says the farewell address also will be streamed live online.
Obama will be joined by first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
By Valerie Edwards For Dailymail.com