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    Dave Arnold: “We expected a full house, whatever a full house was gonna be for a memorial service, which we had never done before. The only building in our company that had done anything like it was the Staples Center for Michael Jackson’s funeral.”

    Sandra Moran: “The family wanted tickets for local people.”

    DA: “You couldn’t get them online, couldn’t call in and get them. You either had to go through the family or stand in line. We let people start getting on the property at midnight. You couldn’t camp out, but people were waiting two days before. We couldn’t keep up with the phone calls. There were a lot of people who felt like they were VIPs, or they were traveling from out of state or out of the country. ‘How am I gonna get in? I already have my plane ticket.’”

    SM: “A few days before people were sitting across the street in chairs. I learned quickly that I couldn’t wear my KFC Yum! Center badge while walking downtown because people would come up and ask for tickets.”

    DA: “I got here at 6 or 7 in the morning, and as I was getting off I-64, the line was already wrapped around the building. I’d never seen a line around the back of the building. We had every window open across the front 10 windows. We gave out over 10,000 tickets. Including tickets from the family, stuff like that, about 15,000 people total came.

    "Some people tried to sell tickets, but the family had  StubHub and Craigslist — all the resale sites — take them down. I’m not gonna say all the secondary markets, but the major secondary markets, in honor of Ali and the fact that it was a memorial service, did not allow people to sell them.”

    SM: “There were parts of the arena that even I was not allowed to walk into. It was unlike anything we’ve ever dealt with, to have that number of foreign dignitaries and politicians and celebrities all at once.” 

    Arnold is the box office director for the Yum! Center. Moran works in marketing and public relations at the Yum! Center.


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