Public Memorial for Jackson at Staples Center
Step 1 for a ticket to Michael Jackson's memorial service: Register at staplescenter.com.
Tim Leiweke of concert promoter AEG Live on Friday announced ticketing details for the service, to be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT at the Staples Center:
There will be 17,500 tickets for fans; 11,000 at Staples Center and 6,500 for the Nokia Theater for a big-screen simulcast across the street.
Registration at StaplesCenter.com will continue until 6 p.m. Saturday. Then there will be a random drawing of 8,750 names, who will receive two tickets each for one of the locations. Those selected will be notified Sunday between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.; they'll get a code for Ticketmaster, which will provide specifics for Monday morning pickup. Wristbands will tag official ticket holders.
Leiweke urged fans to stay away from Staples Center. "There will be no distribution of Tickets at Staples Center or L.A. Live, so don't come down here." He also said there would be no funeral procession.
A free worldwide pool feed will be available for any media outlet, and officials urged fans to follow the funeral on TV and online. "You might want to consider watching from the comfort from your own home," said councilwoman Jan Perry
Fans who had gathered around the Staples Center were satisfied with the ticket-distribution plan. Los Angeles resident Brent Trueheart, 20, who had the letters "MJ" and a silhouette of Jackson shaved into his hair, said: "I think this is great. They're letting the fans come through, and I want to go and show the family that we are here for them." Seconds after the announcement, he was already registered via his cellphone.
Sylvia Hernandez, 38, from West Covina, Calif., had booked a hotel room when the service was reportedly at Neverland Ranch, outside Santa Barbara. She's determined to try to get a ticket, and came downtown just in case. "I was going to stay at home," she said. "I had my computer set up to get online because I had a feeling that's how they were going to do things. But then I thought they might actually have people down here doing a first-come first-serve thing, so raced down here." She's pleased tickets will go by random drawing and headed home to sign up.
Service organizers stressed that tickets would not be sold and urged the public to respect the family's wishes and not attempt to profit if they were lucky enough to get a ticket. Fans also worried that people might try to make a buck. "I like this plan. I think that it's really, really dignified," said Atlanta resident Deborah Houston, 55, in town to visit relatives. "But unfortunately I think people are going to try to sell tickets to this." She's doing her part to ensure tickets land in the hands of true fans. "I got on the phone and told my nieces and nephews to get online and try to get some."