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Memorial for Michael Jackson to Bring Fans and Closures

By Ed Fuentes and Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, July 03, 2009, at 08:54AM
IMGP0638 Ed Fuentes

Media attend Friday morning's press conference giving information about the Tuesday memorial service for Michael Jackson.

After days of uncertain and often conflicting information, plans were announced today for a Tuesday morning memorial service at Staples Center to honor Michael Jackson.

17,500 free tickets for the service, scheduled for 10am, will be distributed to the public via a lottery. 11,000 will be for seats at the main service inside the Staples Center, with the remaining 6,500 seats at the Nokia Theatre. The area around L.A. Live will be closed off to the public, and no outside viewing will be set up.

A form has been set up on StaplesCenter.com for entry into the ticket lottery. Registration closes on Saturday at 6pm, after which 8,750 names will be chosen to receive a pair of tickets.

On Tuesday morning, police will close off the area around L.A. Live. Only those with tickets to the event will be allowed inside a perimeter set up at Flower street, Olympic, Blaine and Pico. Reports have said that 1,400 LAPD officers will be deployed to enforce the closures.

Despite the closures and the news of no outdoor viewings, the Associated Press quotes Assistant Police Chief Earl Paysinger as saying that he expects 250,000 to 700,000 people to try and make their way to the L.A. Live area.

During the press conference, Paysinger emphasized that the department will be strict with closures. "You must have a ticket to be admitted to the venue," said Paysinger. "There's no way to get to this venue if you don't have a ticket."

Four days before the service, L.A. Live was already a busy scene, as news crews staked out spots around the complex.

Chick Hearn Court, which runs between Staples Center and L.A. Live, was closed off Wednesday evening.

Staples Center was the site of the pop star's last rehearsals for a planned 50-date concert tour, titled "This Is It." The tour was to be backed by AEG Live, a subsidiary of L.A. Live developer AEG.

Jackson passed away after suffering cardiac arrest on Wednesday, June 25.

Estimates on the crowd that might show up for the Tuesday service have varied wildly, and city officials have expressed concern over the cost of large staff deployments for security and logistics.

Further details, such as how the public tickets will be released, are scheduled to be announced at a 10am press conference.

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