Fans will get a chance to say goodbye to Michael Jackson at a public memorial service to be held at L.A.'s Staples Center on Tuesday, a spokesman for the singer's family confirmed.
"The memorial has to do with accommodating as many fans as possible," spokesman Ken Sunshine said at a press conference announcing plans for the service in Los Angeles Friday. Tim Leiweke, the CEO of AEG Live, which owns the Staples Center, announced that 17,500 tickets will be made available to fans via an Internet lottery at the venue's Web site. Online registration — which does not guarantee a ticket for the memorial service — concludes Saturday, July 4 at 6 p.m. PST. As of 9 a.m. PST Saturday, the Web site had received 1,223,978 ticket registrations.
Tuesday's service, celebrating the life of The King of Pop, will take place at the same venue (capacity: 20,000) where Jackson rehearsed for his London concert tour just two days before he died on June 25 at age 50. A simulcast of the memorial service will occur at the Nokia Theater across the street. Randomly selected ticketholders notified on Sunday, July 5 will receive wristbands for one location or the other. The remaining tickets are set aside for the Jackson family to allocate as they see fit.
No other details of the memorial were made available, though officials confirmed there would be no funeral procession, in an effort to maintain crowd control. On Thursday, Jackson's brother, Jermaine, told CNN's Larry King the public's safety was paramount when it came to making plans for the memorial.
"The hardest thing is, where do you rest Michael Jackson?" he said in an interview at Neverland Ranch. "Everything [Michael] did was so over the top, and there are people coming from all over the world in groups of 20s and hundreds of thousands. "We worked with the city authorities and they're trying their best," he continued. "And with the time frame we have, we're hoping that everybody is safe and things are going to be locked down pretty much."
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