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Jackson Memorial Ticket Sale Banned

6 July 2009 307 No Comment
ITN reported that auction site eBay has banned the sale of tickets for Michael Jackson’s memorial service in Los Angeles.

Some fans who won the lottery for a voucher which can be redeemed in return for the tickets for Tuesday’s service have been trying to flog them for anything from 99 cents to thousands of dollars.

But eBay said it has banned the sales after a storm of protest against touts who are trying to sell the free seats. Offers were invited on the web just minutes after applications closed.

Winners received a unique code and instructions on how to pick up their tickets at an off-site distribution centre. A wristband will be placed on winners’ wrists and both that and the ticket will be needed for entry before the service set for 10am LA time on Tuesday.

A spokesman for eBay said: “eBay will not allow the sale of tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial service being held on Tuesday July 7. All such listings currently on any of our sites are being removed.”

More than 1.6 million fans registered for the service and the lucky ones were told their applications had been successful via email overnight. Each of the 8,750 names gets two tickets. The odds of getting a congratulatory email was about one in 183.

The tickets will admit 11,000 people to the Staples Centre, with 6,500 seats in the Nokia Theatre overflow section next door.

Before the ticket draw, officials of AEG, the owner and operator of the Staples Centre “scrubbed” the entries to eliminate duplicates and any suspected of being made by automated systems, Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine said.

No details were given about the actual memorial events. The ceremony will not be shown on the arena’s giant outdoor TV screen and there will be no funeral procession through the city.

Police and city officials in Los Angeles warned all those without tickets to stay away from the Staples Centre and said as many as 700,000 people may try to reach the arena.

Assistant Police Chief Jim McDonnell said Jackson’s family was planning a “private family function” at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. No further details were available.

Urging fans without tickets to stay away, he told reporters: “We looked at other funerals around the world and different numbers that have come out for that.

“We’ve heard that for Elvis Presley’s funeral there were about 75,000 for that, for Princess Diana there were about 250,000, so you can estimate that Michael Jackson with his popularity around the world, there will be significant numbers that intend to come out.

“Whether they hopefully will take that advice that this is not the best place to be unless you have a ticket, we’ll have to wait and see.”

Jackson, who died on June 25 after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest, had been due to perform 50 concerts at London’s O2 Arena starting later this

Meanwhile, others who refused refunds for the star’s ill-fated London concerts are also selling them online.

Bosses at AEG Live, which was promoting the 50 This Is It gigs at the O2, said they are treating fans with the “same reverence” as Jackson did by offering refunds or specially-designed hologram tickets last week.

But as dozens of the tickets appeared on eBay, some sellers were asking prices of ?170 each – up to ?100 above their original price.

Thousands of fans were left anxiously waiting to see if they would get their money back after the singer’s death. They had originally sold at a rate of 11 per second, 657 per minute and nearly 40,000 an hour with face prices of ?50 to ?75.

In March, tickets to his This Is It concerts at the O2 became the “hottest-selling on the planet”, according to organisers, with 750,000 fans snapping them up.

Jackson was due to perform the farewell concerts this summer, bowing out on an illustrious music career spanning several decades while aiming to restore his fortunes.

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