University to release more inaugural ball tickets

The University has secured additional space for the GW Inaugural Ball at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on Jan. 20, a University spokeswoman said Friday.

GW was able to obtain space in the hotel for at least 750 people on a wait list, spokeswoman Tracy Schario said. She declined to release more details until the University decides how to disperse the sought-after tickets.

The wait list for tickets is more than 1,500 people long, Schario added. So far, the University has sold nearly 4,000 tickets.

“The wait list is still going to be longer than the number of tickets,” she said. “But I can say that we will be able to accommodate more people.”

The hotel has seven ballrooms, all of which are currently booked for Jan. 20, according to the hotel’s reception desk.

The Omni Shoreham is near the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro station, and the University will provide continuous, free shuttle service to and from the hotel throughout the night.

Tickets for the Jan. 20 event sold out within 24 hours of going on sale on Election Day. The high demand has prompted students to advertise tickets on Web sites like Craigslist and eBay, some reaching more than $1,000 each, despite originally selling for $85.

The Inaugural Ball has been a University tradition since its inception in 1993. The incoming president is always invited to the event but has never attended. Invitees also include members of Congress, the executive administration, diplomats, GW students, faculty, alumni, parents and University benefactors. In 2005, about 4,000 people attended.

The black-tie event, hosted by University President Steven Knapp and organized by the GW Inaugural Ball Committee, will feature live music, dancing, ongoing Inauguration Day coverage, and food and drinks – including a cash bar.

The University has also secured discounts on tuxedo rentals and salon services at specified locations around the city for students attending the ball.

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