By now, all the people who will receive free tickets to Tuesday's public Michael Jackson memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles have been notified, and the secondary market is abuzz with strange offers and record-setting bids.
Though show producers AEG Live have gone out of their way to protect against scalping and counterfeiting of the show tickets, people are finding loopholes. Each winner will receive two wristbands to the event, and while the person picking up the pass needs to put the band on themselves upon receiving it, the second one could easily be flipped.
Though eBay has been aggressive about stamping down auctions, that hasn't stopped people from bidding upward of $15,000 for passes to Tuesday's event. AEG have warned people to be on the lookout for counterfeiters and have reminded people that anybody claiming to sell their e-mail confirmation code (which allows them to claim their tickets Monday at Dodger Stadium) are frauds, as the e-mail code is non-transferable and requires the ticket claimer to have proper matching ID. Even that hasn't slowed the secondary market, as there are a handful of auctions open for the rejection e-mails sent to people who did not get tickets. The opening price for the rejection e-mail? $2.99.
Over on Craigslist (which doesn't offer the same sort of transaction protection as eBay), sellers are offering up their passes (or their second pass) for "make me an offer" deals, starting at $500. Other people have been offering up exchanges and barters. One ticket holder who lives in the Northeast offered up his second ticket in exchange for a flight to Los Angeles so he could attend. Another poster is looking for romantic accompaniment to the event, saying, "Date can respond with pic and reason why she deserves to go." But there are also a strong number of people on the online classified site who are encouraging viewers to flag people attempting to sell tickets, and writing long, opinionated missives about exploiting a funeral.
A total of 1.6 million people registered for the 17,500 available tickets (11,000 in Staples Center proper and another 6,500 for the adjoining Nokia Theater, which will have a closed-circuit broadcast of the proceedings). Police are expecting as many as 700,000 people to swarm the area, despite the fact that the memorial will not be shown on the screens outside the venue.
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."
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