1.6 million seek tickets for Jackson memorial

About 1.6 million people have registered for a chance at 17,500 free tickets to Tuesday’s memorial service for Michael Jackson at Staples Center and a nearby simulcast, officials at AEG, owner of the arena, said Saturday.

Registration began at 10 a.m. Friday and ended at 6 p.m. Saturday. Those chosen will be notified by e-mail between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. today. Each of the 8,750 people selected will get an exclusive code and instructions on how to obtain two free tickets Monday.

AEG officials said 11,000 tickets will be for admission to the Staples Center service. The remaining 6,500 will be for the neighboring Nokia Theatre, where the memorial will be simulcast on big screens.

The random selection will be done by computer after the entries are “scrubbed” to eliminate duplicates and those submitted by automatic entry systems. Only people with a valid ticket and an unaltered wristband will be allowed in. No official program for the service has been announced.