4 Jul 2009

Fans urged to stay away from Jackson memorial

3:28 pm on 4 July 2009

Fans preparing to descend on Los Angeles for next week's Michael Jackson memorial service are being urged to watch the event on television instead, 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 fans who did not have tickets would be barred from the area surrounding the venue.

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

Organisers have revealed that tickets for the event, available only to US residents, 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.

Jackson, 50, collapsed and died after suffering heart failure at his home in Los Angeles on 25 June.