Scalpers look to profit off Ali’s death by selling free funeral tickets

TONIGHT AT 11: Scalpers look to profit off Ali’s death by selling free funeral tickets
Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali's death is bringing out the worst in some who trying to profit off his funeral. (Source: Craigslist)
Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali's death is bringing out the worst in some who trying to profit off his funeral. (Source: Craigslist)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - All 15,000 seats to Muhammad Ali's star studded remembrance were snapped up in less than an hour Wednesday morning.

Within minutes, many of those free seats were illegally listed for sale on Craigslist. People were charging hundreds of dollars apiece for the free tickets to Ali's funeral. All while thousands of real fans, were shut out.

People like Kenton Dixon.

"Man, drove here all the way from Indianapolis, got a few feet from the building and they said they were out of tickets," Dixon said.

So many people want to say goodbye to the champ even the KFC Yum! Center can't hold them all. Maybe because many of those free seats to Muhammad Ali's memorial service ended up in the hands of scalpers.

WAVE 3 News found one ad on Craigslist advertising free Muhammad Ali Memorial Service tickets for $300 apiece. If that sounds like a lot, just listen to what the scalper told our undercover producer when she called to set up the meeting.

"I had 24 tickets and I'm only down to 10 tickets now," the scalper said.

The man, who didn't tell us his name, said he wasn't out to rip anybody off.

"I'm a fan just like anybody else," he said.

But when WAVE 3 News met him, armed with an undercover camera, the scalper wasn't offering any discounts.

"Is there any way we could go down?" the undercover producer asked him.

"Eh they going like that you know," he said snapping his fingers.

It was the same story all over WAVE Country. WAVE 3 News found a number of ads asking $200, $300 or more for those free funeral tickets. Some with fistfuls to sell even though the max at the giveaway was four tickets per person.

Craigslist even had someone selling tickets to the Islamic prayer service the day before, which is also free. Even though that is not sold out yet.

So, how do you explain selling tickets to a funeral? Turns out, you don't.

When asked if he was scalping tickets to Muhammad Ali's funeral, the scalper said, "Nah, not at all, not at all."

Then he covered his face with a ball cap and sprinted away.

Louisville Metro Police said they would arrest someone for scalping Ali funeral tickets if it happened right in front of them or if someone filed a complaint.

But with so many dignitaries and traffic problems to worry about, a department spokesperson said they don't have enough staff to dedicate officers to try and stop this from happening.

Ali family spokesman Bob Gunnell said at a press conference Wednesday night they have a group tracking the illegal sale of Ali funeral tickets.

"Anyone selling or buying tickets online will be reported to law enforcement," Gunnell said. "Frankly this activity is despicable. It is deplorable that some people are trying to profit off of the solemn service as we celebrate the life of Muhammad Ali."

REMINDER: Muhammad Ali’s funeral events will be livestreamed on the WAVE 3 News mobile app. (Get the app: Apple | Android)

Those events can be viewed at the following links: 

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.