Obama inauguration tickets mistakenly put on sale

Convention Center officials are in the early stages of preps for the only two official inauguration balls this year. But thousands of people who hoped to be there woke up to a rude awakening Monday morning.

Inaugural officials say the limited number of $60 tickets to the Jan. 21 ball that were supposed to go on sale Monday morning quickly sold out in advance after Ticketmaster mistakenly put them on sale Sunday evening.

Ticketmaster said during an email system test, it inadvertently sent a message early to those who wanted to be notified.

"We understand the disappointment people feel if they were unable to obtain tickets...but demand was greater than supply,” Ticketmaster stated.

Vicki McGill was among those shut out.

“I see this email from Ticketmaster saying, we messed up and you may not get tickets,” McGill says.

The snafu came as a shock to the folks at Destination D.C., who've been working to help drum up publicity for the inauguration and draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to town. This mistake didn't help matters.

“They're going to do all they can to take care of these individuals - it’s just not a good way to start a celebration,” says Elliott Ferguson, Destination D.C.’s president and CEO.

As for McGill, four hours of persistence early Monday morning finally paid off. She got her tickets. She was trying to avoid a repeat of the first inauguration disaster.

“I was one of those people who got silver swearing-in tickets for the last inauguration and got stuck in the third street tunnel in that craziness,” McGill says.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.