Young People Eager to Hear President's Message on Higher Education

August 20, 2013 Updated Aug 20, 2013 at 11:39 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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August 20, 2013 Updated Aug 20, 2013 at 11:39 PM EDT

AMHERST, NY (WKBW) - Obama fever has struck Western New York. Thousands of people stood in line outside Alumni Arena on the UB North Campus Tuesday, waiting for a chance to snag a free ticket to the President's speech on Thursday.

"I can't even find a word to describe. Any word that I think of seems to be an understatement," said Rachel Bunch McCarley, who along with her daughter Elissa, grabbed two tickets to see the President.

Some people, who waiting in line as early as 1:30 a.m. for the 5 p.m. ticket window, screamed and cheered as they walked away from the box office, ticket in hand.

Others, like 16-year-old Dominic Giambra, are simply eager to hear what the President has to say on higher education and its cost, the reason for his trip to Western New York.

"That's my big concern. I'm worried that I'm going to be paying off student loans for 20, 40 years and be tied down. Not be able to live a fruitful life, have a nice family and settle down," said Giambra, who will be a Senior at St. Joe's this fall.

Hundreds of people were turned away when the 1,500 tickets set aside for the public ran out. The remaining 5,000 tickets will be split up between the White House, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office, the UB President and local politicians, business owners and dignitaries.

A few ads appeared online, offering the free tickets for hundreds of dollars. One classified on Craigslist is offering one ticket for $250 on Tuesday and $350 on Wednesday.

Doors to Alumni Arena open to ticket-holders at 9 a.m. Thursday. The President is expected to take the stage before 12 p.m.

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