Entire Mall to Be Open for Inauguration

Posted December 4, 2008 at 1:23pm

In a break with past tradition, the Presidential Inauguration Committee announced Thursday that the whole of the National Mall will be open to the public on inauguration day.

It is the first time the entire length of the Mall will be open for the event, according to a press release from the PIC.

Spectators on the Mall who are unable to get tickets inside the security area will be able to watch President-elect Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony on large screens that will be set up on the Mall.

Washington, D.C., officials have estimated that from 1 million to 4 million people will be in town for the inauguration, but only 240,000 tickets are available for spots inside the security area.

Although the Mall is typically used as a staging area for the inauguration parade, the PIC and city government decided to relocate that area in order to accommodate the expected crowds, according to the committee.

The PIC cited its pledge to make Obama’s inauguration one of the “most open and accessible” in history as the reason for opening up the Mall on Jan. 20.