Tickets to Jackson memorial being sold for thousands

Monday, July 6, 2009 | 4:03 p.m. CDT; updated 9:06 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 7, 2009

NEW YORK — Michael Jackson's concerts always were difficult to get tickets to, but that's nothing compared to the pop star's memorial service.

On eBay, bids for tickets for Tuesday's event were reaching as high as $3,000, though it was impossible to verify the seriousness of those bids. On Craigslist, asking prices also were in the thousands. Some unable to attend, though, simply wanted to give away their tickets — as one post read — "to only true fans."

Throughout the day, both eBay and Craigslist were taking down postings attempting to sell tickets to the memorial service, which will be held at Los Angeles' Staples Center.

More than 1.6 million fans registered online for a chance to attend, and only 8,750 names were chosen — each of whom received two free tickets.

Organizers have also made efforts to prevent scalping. Staples Center spokesman Michael Roth said organizers will check IDs to make sure those picking up wristbands are the same people who originally applied online.

Ticket winners also have to present a unique code when picking up tickets, as many did Monday at Dodger Stadium. A bracelet for the event was immediately placed on ticketholders' wrists, though they were permitted to give anyone their second bracelet.

Demand for the tickets was likely to only increase after representatives for Jackson's family released a list of participants Monday. Among those scheduled to attend the ceremony are Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Kobe Bryant, Brooke Shields, Usher and John Mayer.

Even the rejection notices fans received informing them that they had not won tickets to the memorial service were being auctioned. For a dollar or two, some on eBay offered to forward a copy of their rejection e-mail as "a collector's piece for a fan."



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