On Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, thousands of fortunate fans will file into Staples Center to watch Michael Jackson's memorial service in person, while the rest of the world will watch the service at home on their televisions. But unless you're a devoted L.A. Lakers fan or a native Angelino, you might not know what the Staples Center is.
Located in downtown L.A. and privately financed for $375 million, the arena opened on October 17, 1999, with a concert by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. When configured for concerts and boxing matches — and MJ's tribute — Staples Center has a capacity of 20,000 spectators.
Staples is also home to a number of sports franchises: the NBA's Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. The Lakers won an NBA championship in each of their first three seasons at the arena, and the Sparks won two WNBA championships in their first two seasons there.
The arena has hosted the Grammy Awards nine times, many professional All-Star games (the NBA's game will return in 2011), the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and was the proposed venue for gymnastics for the city's 2012 Olympic Games bid.
Groups and artists who have performed at Staples include Prince, U2, Usher, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, the Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, Britney Spears, Eric Clapton, Janet Jackson and John Mayer.
Covering an area of over 950,000 square feet and with a 20,000-person capacity (almost 19,000 for NBA basketball), Staples provides 1,200 television monitors throughout the venue, 23 refreshment stands, a 300-seat restaurant, an outdoor restaurant, five concourses, 11 escalators, 10 elevators, a SkyBox seating area and an eight-sided, center-court scoreboard and videoboard. The arena contains 2,500 tons of structural steel, 73,000 cubic yards of concrete and 3.8 million feet of broadcast production cable. In terms of production, Staples has 34 camera positions and two fully equipped television control rooms.
In total, 8,750 fans were selected from the MJ memorial-service lottery system and were able to receive two tickets and two wristbands each. Others will watch a simulcast across the street from Staples at the Nokia Theatre. And, of course, countless millions will tune in on TV sets across the world. MTV's own coverage begins on Tuesday at noon ET.
MTV's live coverage of the Michael Jackson public memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will begin on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."
Share your Michael Jackson memories by uploading video and comments to Your.MTV.com or joining the discussion below.