Memorial details for Michael Jackson were finally announced Friday (July 3), putting a rest of speculation of whether his body would be sent to Neverland Ranch for a public memorial.
Jackson reps and AEG Live, who is hosting the event, revealed that a public memorial for MJ would take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (July 7) at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
“It is the family’s wish to create a service and celebration that all of Michael’s fans around the world can be a part of,” said AEG CEO and President Tim Leiweke.
The event will air via a worldwide feed available for free to any network who chooses to air the event.
The demand to get tickets for the public memorial went through the roof on Friday. More than half a million fans reportedly applied for the 17,500 free tickets.
To be eligible for tickets, fans must log on to StaplesCenter.com and register between now and 6 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, 8,750 names will be drawn randomly and each will receive two tickets. Ticketmaster will then be distributing tickets and wristbands to those chosen few on Monday.
Due to the massive demand and the popularity of Jackson, downtown L.A. is expected to receive a surge of people. More than 1,400 officers from the LAPD alone have been asked to volunteer for duty on Monday and Tuesday. The department didn’t publicly reveal how many officers would be on duty that day though.
City officials said that individuals without a ticket and/or wristband would not be allowed anywhere near the event. They’re urging that some stay home and watch from their couch.
“We encourage you to watch the memorial from your home,” said Jan Perry, a city councilwoman.
In addition to TV, it will also air online.
Ken Sunshine, the Jackson family spokesman, thanked fans for their outpouring of support throughout the past week. The memorial, he said, is about “accommodating as many fans as possible. It is all about the fans.”
Jackson’s body is currently at Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuaries in Hollywood Hills awaiting a private funeral, details of which have not been disclosed.
His Neverland Ranch will be closed to the media and well-wishers beginning tonight and remain off-limits until after the funeral services “to focus on the Tuesday celebration of Michael’s life,” a ranch spokeswoman said.