Inaugural committee takes steps to avoid ‘Purple Tunnel of Doom’ ticket fiasco

December 19, 2012
(Toni L. Sandys — The Washington Post )

Remember the ‘Purple Tunnel of Doom?’

Four years ago, thousands of ticket holders hoping to see the inauguration of the country’s first African-American president failed to get in, shut out of their spots on the Capitol lawn because of security and crowd-control problems.

Those included several hundred with purple-coded tickets stuck for hours in the Third Street tunnel, which later became known as the “Purple Tunnel of Doom.” Throughout their long, fruitless wait, they laughed, cried, shivered and, at one point, sang an impromptu chorus of “Lean On Me” — footage of which remains on YouTube.

The Washington Post’s Annie Gowen has the scoop on how the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies plans to avoid similar incidents this year. There will be more signs directing ticket holders, more civilian volunteers as guides, back-up generators for security checkpoints and a social-media hub where law enforcement agencies can monitor Twitter and other sites for problems as they play out in real time.

Read more here.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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