Q: I'm curious about something: In the Colosseum, did they charge admission and have reserved seating?
D.C., Fort Worth, Texas
A: Aside from the killing, of course, the fan experience at the Roman Colosseum was similar to today's events. There were 45,000 seats in the amphitheatre, and room for up to 5,000 standing fans.
Tickets, which were heavily in demand, were marked with the entrance to use as well as the tier and row number of the seat. The emperor rated a luxury box, and senators and other high officials got the best seats.
Admission was free, because aspiring politicians bankrolled the events. "Whoever sought a political career and the certainty of being elected had only to organize a gladiatoral contest at his own expense,'' according to The World of Ancient Rome.
The Colosseum opened in 80 A.D. Most of the biggest attractions involved people fighting each other or animals. Up to 5,000 animals were killed on Opening Day of the facility, known officially as the Flavian Amphitheatre.