LOS ANGELES — The planning for Michael Jackson's public service may be a "phenomenal undertaking," as described by the Los Angeles Police Department, but the ticket-distribution process has been anything but, according to those selected to attend Tuesday's memorial.
"I'm really surprised it went this well, it was really well-executed," Richard Leong told MTV News after picking up his pair of tickets. "I'll actually be able to go back to work today."
Leong was among the many drivers on Monday (July 6) who went to Dodger Stadium to collect tickets and wristbands, the materials necessary to get near and inside the venues for the public memorial that will take place. A line of cars stretched back fairly deep from the freeway exit to the stadium. But once fans in cars showed their printed vouchers to police, the process went surprisingly fast to most.
"In and out within five minutes," Massimo Guarini said.
After the first stop, fans had to drive a short distance to Ticketmaster representatives stationed outside of the stadium. From there, they showed their voucher again and received a gold or blue wristband. After they received a wristband, one more short drive is all it took to get the pair of tickets from a representative.
Lesley Leasen was notified Sunday that out of the 1.6 million fans that registered to attend the services, she had been selected. Leasen said she received an e-mail notice on her iPhone and was surprised by the news. The Los Angeles native then decided to take her young son to the services.
"I'm here in L.A. and it's all over the news — it's a big piece of history," she said. "It's a sad day but I thought I'd come and see the tribute."
As of press time, reps on site were still passing out tickets for Staples Center, where the memorial will take place. Once those tickets are gone, however, fans will have to make due with tickets to the Nokia Theater, where a live simulcast of events taking place inside the Staples Center will be shown. According to spokesmen for the Jackson family, 8,750 total tickets will be dispersed to fans, with the rest of the seating set aside for media and friends and associates of Jackson, including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Kobe Bryant.
Plans continue to be revealed for the memorial, with new announcements being made through the day.
As for the fans, most are still in shock that the King of Pop is no longer with us.
Leong said his daughter actually registered him online for the memorial tickets. "This is a real big thing for her," he said of his eldest daughter. "[We've had] great memories," he added. "Some of our best times were watching Michael Jackson videos and their releases on MTV. [My daughter] doesn't like big crowds, but she wanted to go. I wanted to share with her what we did when she was young, but now as adults."
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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