The news spread fast: President Barack Obama would make an appearance at Boise State University Wednesday, Jan. 21, beginning at 2:45 p.m.—just a day after his annual State of the Union address to Congress.
Tickets to the event were free, and a line began forming at the Albertson Stadium ticket office in the wee hours of Jan. 19. Boise State students got first dibs on the free tickets, followed by staff and administrators. At 4 p.m. Jan. 19, the few tickets that remained were given away to the general public. They went fast—and almost as quickly, became available on Craigslist
, sometimes for staggering sums of money.
"An opportunity to see the most powerful man in the world.... Don't pass it up! ***$150 OBO***," wrote one Craigslist user.
"Selling a ticket to see obama [sic]!! $350 stood in line for hours. Please email if interested," wrote another.
Many others took to the site to search or trade for tickets. One user offered a ticket to the event for a ticket to the Jan. 21 String Cheese Incident
performance at the Knitting Factory.
Several users balked at the idea of paying for tickets to an event to which tickets could be obtained for free.
"Paying for it seems odd. I'll buy you a cocktail or lunch but realistically, I'm not buying a free ticket," wrote one user. "Had I waited for a pile of time and couldn't go, I would give away my ticket."