Fans wanting to attend Kobe Bryant’s memorial service on Monday, February 24 are likely out of luck unless they were one of the few people that received an email from Ticketmaster with an opportunity to purchase tickets. Ticketmaster gave fans a chance to sign up to be entered into a lottery for the right to purchase tickets, but the demand was much higher than the limited number that was made available.
TMZ reported that more than 88,000 people registered on the site within the first five hours. Tickets were offered with prices to honor Kobe and Gigi Bryant’s jersey numbers $24.02, two for $224 or $224 per ticket depending on the seat, per the Los Angeles Times. The proceeds from the memorial service tickets are going to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation.
The Bryant family already had a private funeral service, but Monday’s event allows a greater number of people to pay their respects. The memorial service is expected to start at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Fans Are Being Instructed Not to Go Outside of the Staples Center During the Memorial Service
The outside of the Staples Center has served as a public memorial since Bryant’s death, but fans should not expect the same during the memorial service. The area will be barricaded off and only accessible to people with a ticket to the service, per Los Angeles Times. The Staples Center will not be showing the memorial service on the outside screens.
Instead, fans without tickets are invited to Santa Ana City Hall or Orange County Great Park soccer stadium where there will be public gatherings to watch the service. Some fans have expressed disappointment with how the ticket distribution was handled. Many fans received emails noting they were on the waitlist for tickets.
Fan Registration “Far Exceeded” the Ticket Supply
The Staples Center has a capacity of about 20,000 people, but there were considerably fewer tickets available when considering that family, friends, NBA staff members and city officials were given passes to attend. Ticketmaster released a statement to the Deseret News about the process used to give fans the opportunity to purchase tickets.
There has been an outpouring of love and support from hundreds of thousands of fans around the world hoping to attend ‘A Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant’ on February 24th. This has naturally led to verified fan registrations far exceeding ticket supply. Those registered and verified have been randomly selected to receive confirmation codes for a chance to purchase tickets. All other fans received a waitlist notification and will be contacted should tickets become available. All proceeds will be donated directly to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, whose mission is to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy in youth sports.
It was challenging circumstances for the city of Los Angeles since the Staples Center made a lot of sense to host the service given the history Bryant had inside the arena. However, this also drastically limited the number of people that could attend compared to if it was hosted at an outdoor venue like the L.A. Memorial Coliseum or Rose Bowl.
Fans who did not receive an opportunity to purchase tickets are best served to watch the memorial service on television. ABC will be broadcasting the event nationally.