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US: Fans urged to stay away from Jackson memorial

Sat Jul 4 04:58:33 EST 2009

LOS ANGELES, July 3 AFP - Fans preparing to descend on Los Angeles for next week's Michael Jackson memorial service are being urged to watch the event via television amid fears of huge crowds of mourners at the event.

Speaking at a press briefing on Friday to outline plans to distribute 17,500 tickets for the event at the Staples Centre, Los Angeles city officials said ticket-less fans would be barred from the area surrounding the venue.

"If you do not have a ticket, if you are not credentialed, not only will you not be allowed at these venues, you will not be allowed in this area," Los Angeles Police Department chief Earl Paysinger said.

Officials said no funeral procession will take place and the memorial service will not be shown on giant screens outside the venue.

"I would encourage all of the Michael Jackson fans and well wishers to take advantage of the TV broadcast," Paysinger added.

Organisers meanwhile revealed tickets for the event will be distributed via an Internet lottery, with fans registering at the Staples Centre's website to enter a draw.

About 11,000 tickets will be made available for the event inside the Staples Centre while an additional 6,500 tickets will be distributed for fans watching a live feed at the neighbouring Nokia theatre.

Officials said 8,750 pairs of tickets will be allotted to succesful entrants.