Next week I will be attending the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. I received tickets from a state senator, which are standing room only. However, I have heard contradictory information about whether or not the swearing-in ceremony can be viewed with these tickets.

There are multiple sources that say the tickets are for the National Mall, which is open to the public, at least in part, on the day anyways, but other sources suggest the ticketed section is actually closer. It seems like if it is on the National Mall, then it would be almost impossible to actually see the ceremony.

Has anyone attended an inauguration and know what the viewing is like?

  • 1
    250,000 free tickets for seats and standing room were available through the Congress. Tickets are color coded; what color is yours, and what suggested entrance to the Capitol grounds is on the back?
    – Giorgio
    Jan 12, 2017 at 14:20
  • Do you really mean a state senator, or is it a US senator (who, like all US senators, represents one of the states)?
    – phoog
    Jan 12, 2017 at 16:05
  • 2
    @phoog He surely means his state's US Senator, as only the US Senate and House of Representatives members receive tickets to hand out.
    – TylerH
    Jan 12, 2017 at 16:06
  • @TylerH your language implies that his state has one senator, though each state has two senators, as I imagine you know. Furthermore it's possible, though I suppose unlikely, that the senator providing the ticket represents a different state, or that the OP does not reside in a state at all.
    – phoog
    Jan 12, 2017 at 16:17
  • 6
    @phoog That's quite a strict interpretation. You can be a state's US senator and simultaneously not the state's only US senator. It's not mandatory to specify "one of" his state's US senators here. It's also entirely irrelevant to the question at hand.
    – TylerH
    Jan 12, 2017 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


If you received tickets from your state's Senator, you'll be standing much closer than the National Mall. See this image from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies:

Map of Inauguration viewing areas

People with tickets will stand in the round-ish area in the blue, orange, green, or yellow area depending on what your ticket says. You will also have to enter the appropriate color-coded checkpoint for your color, as well.

Historically, Presidential Inaugurations are pretty crowded (Wikimedia Commons image, hi-resolution).

Edit - Congratulations on being one of the people in the front crowd seen here (Reuters). I wonder if you can find yourself!


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