Muhammad Ali wanted tickets to his memorial service to be free, but people are already trying to profit offthem. Tickets were distributed outside the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville starting at 8:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday. The nearly 15,000 available free tickets were gone in just more than an hour. Unfortunately, some have turned around and put their tickets for sale online.
Frankly, this is disgusting. I get that some people weren’t able to get in line for the free tickets and those selling theirs are giving those people an opportunity to be in attendance at the service on Friday. But scalping tickets to a free public memorial is about as shady as it gets.
Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell had the following to say about it:
“I’m personally disgusted and amazed that someone would try to profit off of Muhammad Ali’s memorial service.”
“I hope that those buying tickets or trying to buy tickets would stop those efforts by not purchasing. Muhammad Ali wanted this to be a free event, an event that was open to all.”
He’s not wrong.
Ali will be eulogized by Bill Clinton, while Billy Crystal will also speak. Both were longtime friends of the champ. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan will also say a few words, while Will Smith, who played Ali in Ali, will be one of the pallbearers.
For those of you that can’t be in attendance, the ceremony will be streamed online by the Muhammad Ali Center.