Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Latest Michael Jackson memorial plan focuses on Staples Center

July 1, 2009 |  7:12 pm


[Updated at 7:30 p.m.]

The discussions over Michael Jackson's public memorial have now focused on a possible Tuesday service, though sources stress that the Jackson family has not made a final decision.

Five sources, who are familiar with the planning process but spoke on the condition that they not be named, said authorities are drawing up plans for a massive law enforcement deployment Tuesday morning.

But Ken Sunshine, a Jackson family spokesman, said in an e-mail that he could not comment.

The site of the memorial service has been the subject of nearly a week of speculation, and possible sites have included the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Neverland Ranch.

The financing for the memorial remains unclear. Security and crowd control for the event are likely to be costly. The Lakers championship victory parade and celebration at the Coliseum cost $2 million, about half of which covered L.A. police and public works costs. There was an outcry when the city initially said it would cover some of those costs -- and private donors eventually stepped forward, among them AEG, which owns Staples. AEG was also planning Jackson's comeback tour at its O2 Arena in London.

It's also unclear how much tickets to the memorial would cost.

The Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus has long been scheduled to appear at Staples next Wednesday through Sunday, July 12. Traditionally, the Parade of the Elephants — in which the circus’ elephants walk, trunk to tail, through downtown to Staples -- is held as circus performers arrive in town.

This year, that parade was scheduled for Tuesday morning — followed by a visit by local elementary school children who were to aid in the animals' feeding. One source familiar with the planning process said that the parade would continue but that the schoolchildren would have to wait.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa, Andrew Blankstein, Maria Elena Fernandez and Harriet Ryan

Photo: A memorial to Michael Jackson near the Jackson family's home in Encino, California. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times