July 5, 2009 -- Michael Jackson's family is planning a private ceremony at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles police said today.
Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell said the "private family function" will take place on Tuesday before the public memorial.
On Tuesday, approximately 3,000 police officers, fire fighters and other first responders will be on hand. Police will shut down the blocks around the Staples Center where Jackson's public memorial will be held in an effort to prevent fans without tickets from clogging the area.
When the registration closed Saturday, 1.6 million were pinning their hopes on the lottery for a seat at the memorial service, but only 17,500 ticket wristbands will be distributed.
Before choosing the 8,750 registrants at random, AEG, which owns the Staples Center where the service will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT "scrubbed" duplicate lottery entries, as well as those entries that appear to have been made by auto-entry systems.
Memorial Tickets Distributed at "Off-Site Location"
Everyone who scored tickets must pick them up in person, at a "off-site location" on Monday. AEG officials said tickets will not be given out at the Staples Center or the Nokia Theatre. In an effort to avoid reselling of tickets, wristbands will be placed on everyone's wrists at the time of ticket distribution, and everyone attending the memorial service at the Staples Center, or the live simulcast at the Nokia Theatre, must be in possession of both a ticket and a wristband that has not been torn or broken.
The lottery Web site received hundreds of millions of hits since opening registration on July 3, but only 11,000 people, chosen at random, received admittance to the Staples Center. The remaining 6,500 will watch the memorial service at the Nokia Theatre, where the service will be broadcast.
Jackson's memorial service at the Staples Center could very well become one of the most widely attended memorials in U.S. history. Los Angeles is bracing for the nearly 700,000 people expected to descend on the city.
Hotel owners near the Staples Center said they were inundated with calls since Thursday from fans needing a place to stay -- some traveling to the United States from Europe. KABC reported that the Holiday Inn down the street from Staples Center has sold out. Azzi Kashani from O Hotel said, "It is exciting and sad at the same time ... it's probably going to be one of the largest funerals, memorial services since Princess Diana."
Michael Jackson Tributes Continue
In the meantime, Jackson tributes continue to be held across the country.
Yesterday Madonna paid tribute to Michael Jackson during a performance in the O2 in London, the same arena where Michael Jackson was set to stage his "This Is It" concerts.
And today, Rev. Al Sharpton appeared at a 10 a.m. PT ceremony honoring Jackson at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, where he called for a national day of mourning and the creation of a Michael Jackson postage stamp.
Sharpton was also sharply critical of the media, calling coverage of Michael Jackson's death "disgraceful."
"Show the same respect for Michael and Michael's family that you showed Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley," he said, and received thunderous applause from the congregation. Sharpton then called on people from various churches to gather in youth centers for a "love vigil" focusing on Michael Jackson's songs.
"Let the media focus on the mess while we focus on the message," he said.
Cash-Strapped L.A. Hosts Jackson Funeral
Security for the memorial is expected to cost taxpayers approximately $2.5 million. Last week Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry addressed fears that cash-strapped Los Angeles would be hard-pressed to pay the extra law enforcement that would be required for the memorial. Los Angeles's budget deficit now tops $530 million.
"Every year, the city budget is developed and a provision is made in the police department budget to cover the overtime costs of extraordinary events," said Perry. "This is not the first nor the last that the police department will be called on for a special event of this magnitude."
Perry also encouraged Jackson fans preparing to flock to Los Angeles for the memorial to consider staying at home and watching the service on television.
"I want to stress to those people coming or thinking about coming to our city for this special event that you might consider watching this from the comfort of your own home," she said.