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More on Jackson memorial service mayhem

Registration for the lottery for a chance at a ticket to see Michael Jackson’s memorial service at the downtown Staples Center arena in Los Angeles closed yesterday, along with many people’s hope at winning a ticket.

At the closing of the registration, 1.6 million people managed to get through the almost constant “server unavailable” messages that popped up after hitting “submit,” as reported by ABC News.

Only 17,500 tickets will be selected, and that’s going to mean a lot of unhappy fans, at least 1.5 million of them. And in case you happen to be in that bunch, the memorial service will be broadcast on ABC News live at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 7.

Even bigger news might be the size of the crowd the Staples Center and the city of Los Angeles, really, is expecting. It might even be one of the most widely attended memorials in U.S. history, according to ABC News. The city is preparing for at least 700,000 people to show up. Of course, many people know they aren’t going to get a ticket, they’re just hoping to be able to get in or find a seat near enough to hear something when they arrive. Others just want to be as close to M.J. as they can get.

ABC News reported many hotels near the arena have already sold out of rooms, with some travelers planning a trip from as far as Europe to attend the service.

With all these people planning on being there, or just being around, this also presents a big problem for Los Angeles police as far as crowd control goes. With a place big enough to fit 20,000, and 700,000 show up, well, you can do the math. Sounds like it’s going to be more Jackson memorial service mayhem than anything else.

“It’s the family’s wish to create a service and a celebration that all of Michael’s fans around the world can be part of,” said Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG, which owns the Staples Center.

Leiweke said it was the family’s idea to make sure at least 17,500 tickets were made available to Michael Jackson’s fans so that they could be “a part of the service.” The remaining 2,500 tickets will be given to family and close friends of the Jackson family at the family’s discretion.

As far as a funeral, well, there won’t be any preceding the event, and Leiweke did not answer questions about whether Jackson’s body would be displayed at the event. I guess he’s keeping the suspense going, ’cause I know we’re all wondering about that one.

Winners will be notified on Sunday, Leiweke said, between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. “Those who were randomly drawn will receive a code to go to Ticketmaster.com and will then be provided with the specifics of where to go.”

Leiweke also mentioned that wristbands would be given to the winners, in an effort to ensure that the system is “not taken advantage of.”

He also made sure to mention that “No tickets will be sold for this memorial.”

It might be interesting to show up and see how many scalpers are there. No offense to Michael, but we all know what lengths people will go to for money, and with an even as big as this one’s sure to be, you know it’s going to happen. Sad, but true.

With this in mind, Leiweke said, “I’m hoping that people have dignity, and that no one takes advantage of this particular process.”

We shall see. I’m just waiting for this whole mess to be over so that M.J. can start resting in peace, finally.

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