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Los Angeles Braces For Michael Jackson's Memorial Service

If you don't have a ticket to the Michael Jackson memorial, you don't want to be in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday.

That was the message from the Los Angeles Police Department on Sunday, which urged fans to watch on television if they do not have tickets, since the screens outside the Staples Center will not be used to broadcast the event and there won't be a funeral procession through the city.

The LAPD is expecting 'several hundred thousand fans', going by the funeral of Princess Diana which drew an estimated 250,000 mourners. The nearby Wilshire Grand Los Angeles hotel, which is about a half mile from the Staples Center, reports that more than 90 percent of the its rooms are already booked for Monday and Tuesday night.

Over 1.6 million people registered for the chance to receive one of the 8,750 free tickets that were allotted for Tuesday's 10 AM service. Each person selected by a draw, and notified by email on Sunday, will receive two tickets to Tuesday's memorial.

The tickets will admit 11,000 people to the Staples Center plus 6,500 in the Nokia Theater overflow section next door.

The streets around Staples Center will be closed and unless you are a designated ticket holder or a member of the press, fans will not be allowed in the so-called 'safe zone'. They stressed the memorial service is not a show but a public remembrance of the 50-year-old singer.

With tickets already showing up for as much as $10,000 on auction sites, officials say when the selected fans pick up their tickets, a wristband will be placed on their wrists and, to prevent ticket scalping, fans must have both the ticket and the wristband to attend. If a wristbands appears to have been ripped or tampered with, it will be voided.

All the major networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are expected to cover the event live.

July 6, 2009 |

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