How Much Does The Inaugural Ball Cost? Donald Trump's Big Day Could Cost More Than Obama's
Donald J. Trump will be sworn in to the office of president of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Unsurprisingly, it turns out the after-party's not cheap. But how much does the inaugural ball cost? And who, exactly, will pay for it?
The Inauguration Day festivities cost a whole heck of a lot. According to the Washington Post, Trump's inauguration could cost anywhere from $75 to $200 million. However, it's worth noting that the event subsidizes the local economy and is good for business, attracting clients for hotels and cars and restaurants.
Part of the hefty price tag comes from the fact that security, cleanup, and transportation add a lot to the cost of the big day, not to mention emergency services. As FactCheck.org noted of inauguration expenses, "the cost of all the fun stuff is actually less than the cost of providing security for the various events. Taxpayers are on the hook for that bill." There isn't a hard, clear number when it comes to how much taxpayers pay, since a lot of local facilities get factored into the mix, but we're talking many, many millions.
So who's footing the heavy costs? The bill for the actual inauguration goes to one of two places: the taxpayers or the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC). The line between the two is basically fancy stuff vs. logistical stuff.
The fancy stuff like the food, decorations, and entertainment are the responsibility of the committee made up of donors, from private individuals to large corporations. For President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, celebrities and public figures like Denzel Washington and Bill and Melinda Gates donated to the festivities, as did corporations like AT&T.
President Obama caught a lot of flack over the cost of his 2009 bash. Part of that was because he had 10 balls instead of the typical two. That could be because the first year there were a lot more donors, especially celebrities, than the second. This year, President Trump will also have the standard two balls.
The celebrations start on Thursday, the day before the official event, with a wreath-laying at Arlington Cemetery by Trump and Pence, and they carry on through Friday night.
Right now, Trump's inauguration committee is aiming for a cool $75 million. According to the PIC, ticket packages range from $25,000 to $1 million, and include events like two tickets to the basic swearing-in ceremony to a ladies luncheon to a candlelit dinner with Trump and Pence.