Thousands brave cold until tickets to Obama speech run out; some already on sale for $2,500

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CHICAGO — Thousands of people lined up in frigid temperatures hoping for tickets to President Barack Obama's farewell speech in his hometown of Chicago.

Tickets were handed out for free Saturday morning at McCormick Place on a first-come, first-served basis. Obama plans to speak to supporters there on Tuesday night, carrying on a tradition set in 1796 when George Washington addressed the American people for the last time as president. Obama has described the event as "a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey."

Tickets were free but had to be picked up in-person. People are lined up around the building in single-digit temperatures. Those who arrived after 7 a.m. were turned away, and Chicago police sent out an alert at that time telling people who hadn't yet arrived at McCormick Place to save themselves from the below-freezing temperatures.

McCorimck Place tweeted that all the tickets had been handed out around 10:45 a.m.

And while each pass says tickets are complimentary and not for re-sale, warning "tickets do not guarantee admission," but many are already available through craigslist and other retailers. Pairs of tickets are already listed for as much as $5,000.


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