Fans Receive Notification About Memorial Tickets, Jackson Family Plans Private Ceremony

Fans are notified about memorial tickets; the LAPD helps plan private gathering.

ByABC News
July 3, 2009, 11:15 AM

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.

ABC News will broadcast the Jackson memorial service live at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 7.

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.

Fans finally received word after waiting eagerly to find out whether their names would be selected at random from an online lottery to attend Michael Jackson's memorial service.

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.

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."