An ad on Craigslist posted Wednesday morning offering to illegally sell tickets to Muhammad Ali's memorial service on Friday for $100 a piece
This ad was posted on Craigslist Wednesday morning, offering to illegally sell tickets to Muhammad Ali’s memorial service for $100 apiece.

Just as the 15,000 free tickets to Muhammad Ali’s Friday memorial service at the Yum! Center were distributed Wednesday morning, posts on sites such as Craigslist were offering to sell those tickets to make a profit — an act that is illegal and being tracked by off-duty law enforcement hired by the Ali family.

One post on Craigslist offers to sell six lower-level seats at the Friday memorial service for the legendary boxer and humanitarian for $100 each, while other posts also have offered to sell tickets to Thursday’s Jenazah — an Islamic prayer service — at Freedom Hall.

Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell of BoxCar PR tells Insider Louisville that he is “personally disgusted” that anyone would try to profit off of Ali’s services. He says that the Ali family has hired off-duty law enforcement to track those trying to re-sell the tickets, and if possible will pull those tickets so that other people can receive them for free and attend the services.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing that someone would try to turn a buck and make a dollar off of this solemn service to our great city hero and champion, Muhammad Ali,” says Gunnell. “I haven’t discussed this with the family because they have enough to worry about right now, but I’m sure they would be extremely disappointed.”

Gunnell notes that ticket scalping is illegal in Kentucky even if you’ve obtained a ticket for free, and he hopes that local law enforcement will press charges against those trying to profit off the services this week.

Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told IL this week that they do not have any division or officer who focuses on illegal ticket scalping, and their investigations into such crime typically begin when someone files a complaint or an officer witnesses the crime.

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Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]