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Obama Farewell Tix Or Going For $5K & 'Hamilton' Trade Offers On Resale Market

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 9, 2017 7:12PM


President Barack Obama’s farewell speech on Tuesday evening is going to be one for the history books—and boy oh boy, does the resale market ever know it, too.

Tickets on secondary-market sites like eBay and Craigslist had for the hyper-anticipated McCormick Place speech reached as high as $5,000 per ticket. To put in perspective, that's enough to put a good dent in a home remodel or even take a two-week trip to Antarctica. And it's well above the World Series home game median last year.

That fever-pitch price structure appears to be tapering off a bit as the event nears. As we saw during the Cubs’ World Series appearance, the closer we get to the event, the lower prices fall. Most single tickets will set you back hundreds rather than thousands. But it’s still definitely a seller’s market out there: we found a few active listings for $3,000-per-ticket and another pricing a single ticket for $1500. One Craigslist post asks for $750 per ticket or "best creative offer." (For dignity's sake, please don't get too creative.) Meanwhile, some seekers are getting imaginative: one buyer is offering to trade a new flat-screen TV and another is putting up two Hamilton tickets in exchange for two Obamas. (Not that it will dissuade the most passionate ticker-seekers, but the Better Business Bureau strongly advises steering clear of the secondary market, where counterfeits are always a possibility.)

Thousands of people lined up for tickets on Saturday morning, braving subzero wind chills, even though only several hundred were available. Some who arrived in line as early as 6 a.m. left empty-handed. Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted around 9:30 a.m. to not bother coming at that point if you weren't already in line.

As previously noted, those who weren't able to secure tickets can nonetheless take in the speech sans price gouge at or on