Chicagoans Offer to Trade TVs, ‘Hamilton’ Tickets for Entry into President Obama’s Final Speech

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By Emily Zanotti | 7:21 pm, January 8, 2017

While President Obama rubbed elbows with Sarah Jessica Parker, George and Amal Clooney, Meryl Streep and Lena Dunham at a star-studded White House farewell party, Chicagoans braved the freezing cold to wait hours for free tickets to Obama’s farewell speech.

More than 7,000 people waited in a line snaking through the city’s convention center for only 800 tickets. Residents were allowed to line up at 6 am Saturday and by 6:30 a.m, getting into the queue was pointless.

But of course, tickets soon popped up on secondary markets.

If you’re willing to shell out the cash, tickets can be had for around $2,000 (with some better views going for $3,500). And Chicagoans had some interesting proposals for people who had managed to snag the tickets.

One resident is willing to part with his brand new 40″ LCD television in return for the opportunity to sit in a convention center ballroom and listen to what is expected to be only a half-hour speech.

Another Chicagoan is even willing to trade two tickets to Hamilton in Chicago for two tickets to the speech—a $1,500 value, based on StubHub’s prices.

Obama will give his speech Tuesday in Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, in the Lakeside Center, which will allow the President to deliver his remarks in front of the city’s skyline.

Chicago remains an interesting choice for Obama’s farewell address. While Michelle Obama is from the city, Barack spent only a short time there before entering politics. The family will not be returning to the city after Obama’s term ends, preferring to set up house in Washington until their daughters finish school, and then, according to reports, settling down in New York City or Palm Springs.

He’s also returning to a city that has degraded markedly since he took office, posting a record number of shootings and murders as it struggles under the mayorship of Obama’s former senior counselor, Rahm Emanuel.