Muhammad Ali long ago began crafting the plan for his final tribute and insisted that tickets for his memorial service be free. But some people sought to turn a profit after the tickets were handed out Wednesday.
It took about an hour for the thousands of tickets for Friday’s memorial service at KFC Yum Center in Louisville to be claimed on a first-come, first-served basis. Some of those who got tickets immediately looked to cash in, going online with offers to sell.
Bob Gunnell, an Ali family spokesman, denounced the profiteering, saying he was “disgusted and amazed.”
“I hope that those buying tickets or trying to buy tickets would stop those efforts by not purchasing,” he said. “Muhammad Ali wanted this to be a free event, an event that was open to all.”
Others posted online pleas to buy tickets. One wrote that he and his mother were driving in from Chicago for the service and were willing to pay $50 for two tickets. Another wrote that he was flying in from California for the service and offered to pay someone $50 to stand in line for him for tickets to both the memorial service and a traditional Muslim funeral scheduled for Thursday.